Crane Country Day School Established 1928

Crane School Blog: Focus on Learning

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Unmasking Confidence
Carrie Althoff

Over the course of my teaching career, I have seen fear develop in children on a regular basis. They are often stymied by the thoughts that live in their own minds about not being good enough or being worried about what their friends might think or believing they are not smart enough.

I was tickled to watch an assembly performance by Mr. Downey, Upper School math teacher...

Over the course of my teaching career, I have seen fear develop in children on a regular basis. They are often stymied by the thoughts that live in their own minds about not being good enough or being worried about what their friends might think or believing they are not smart enough.

I was tickled to watch an assembly performance by Mr. Downey, Upper School math teacher, on October 30. He came out dressed in a full-bodied ghost costume and sang the song “Spooky” by the Atlanta Rhythm Section. The caveat, no one knew ahead of time who was in the costume. After his performance, Mr. Kono asked the audience if they had any guesses as to who the mystery singer might be. It was finally revealed that Mr. Downey was the ghost. Everyone gave him a huge round of applause and exited the theatre laughing and smiling. His song was a hit! 

The next day, I talked with Mr. Downey about his performance. He said that he had always wanted to sing a song in assembly but never had the courage to make it happen. He felt the ghost costume was the perfect solution.

This got me thinking. How many others feel the same way as Mr. Downey? Would more people in the Crane community explore a passion if they knew they would not be identified? Would experimenting with something in this uninhibited way lead to a feeling of freedom and relief without fear of being judged?

As role models to our children, be it as a teacher or a parent, we need to pass along the idea that their journey is valuable no matter what path it takes. We can help them believe in their talents and abilities and help them find their self-worth. It’s good to take risks, especially in a safe place like Crane. The ability to do this at Crane is one thing I admire most about our school. By building confidence, we can help eliminate fear.

So in the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Go for it!

Mrs. Althoff
Fifth Grade Teacher

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