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Spring at MRA

Dear Families,

I think for most schools, spring can be one of the most difficult times of the year. In the fall, students and teachers are fresh. They are well rested from a summer full of lazy days in the sun, swimming with friends, hiking, camping, and snuggling up with the novel they put off during the school year. In the spring, both students and teachers are remembering those fond summer moments, and both start to get a bit antsy.

At MRA, we are no different. It’s almost as if when the sun comes out, not only does it awaken the dormant flowers and trees, but it also tantalizes our students with what’s to come. Our eighth grade students are now raging with a mess of emotions about leaving MRA, going to high school, meeting new friends, and jumping into that next phase of life. Student in the middle are caught in a hormonal struggle that is daring them to put away their toys and childhood games, a dare they aren’t quite ready to take. And our youngest students are simply ready to play with those toys, and spend their days playing childhood games instead of working so hard on all of the learning they do at school.

And every spring, as the school administrator I spend my days working with our amazing teachers to support these young people, give them the tools they need to finish out the year successfully, and move into summer where they will mature and return in the fall all set for another year of learning.

There are times, most often in the spring, where I too get bogged down by all of the issues that are a part of running a charter school. Students struggles, teacher frustrations, parent concerns, facility issues… all of these come with the territory and any one of them can knock me for a loop.

Today, however, I had the opportunity to put away the worries and the burden that sometimes comes with my job, and I ran with the kids at track club. Every spring our PE teacher hosts this event. This year we are running Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 to 12:15 for four weeks. I’m not a runner, but I love going out on the track with the kids. They remind me of why I am at MRA, and why I’m willing to roll up my sleeves, tackles the issues, and work as hard as I do.

Sometimes things get hard. Sometimes we have to help kids who are struggling and anxious and displaying those emotions by acting out and being more than unkind. Sometimes we have to wrestle with managing kids who want to be outside playing instead of inside learning. And sometimes we have to tackle difficult teacher and/or parent issues that might seem insurmountable.

For me, when that happens, when spring happens, I go outside and I spend time running a track with your amazing children. Thank you for the privilege of watching over them and supporting them on a daily basis every school year. They keep me going, and they always give me hope.

My best to all of you

Shelley Urben

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