Waring School Mission
To create and sustain a community of lifelong learners who are working together for the individual and common good.
Guiding Assumptions/Core Beliefs
- We assume that learning is, in and of itself, an essential and defining human activity that involves the whole person throughout life.
- We assume that a learning environment should stimulate this powerful, inherently human desire to learn and to grow.
- We assume that most learning in a lifetime takes place outside of school and that one of the purposes of school is to prepare an individual to learn on his or her own. We do not, consequently, think of school as an end in itself but as part of the continuum of a life-long process perpetually at work in each learner.
- We believe that learning affirms intellectual tolerance and social unity by giving individuals reference points beyond themselves that both validate and challenge personal experience.
- We believe that learning moves us away from personal isolation and enables us to participate in a reality larger than ourselves—the diverse and embracing fellowship of learners. This fellowship begins with those immediately around us at Waring and expands through the experience of shared knowledge and tradition to connect us ultimately with the wider community of human civilization—past, present, and future.
- We believe that the desire to learn is the preeminent criterion in determining who is to be admitted to the school. The students who succeed best at Waring are those who embrace learning and want to be part of a community that defines itself in terms of that which contributes to learning. In our experience, such students cut across all cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines.
- We assume that most learning takes place in the context of relationship and that it is through relationship that the “natural authority” of the teacher reveals itself as a dynamic and nurturing force that is capable of authoring growth in the learner. This ability to author growth in others is, we believe, the essence of leadership.
- We assume that teaching and learning go hand-in-hand. Authentic teaching goes on only if learning continues as well. Responsible learning issues in the willingness to teach, that is, to authorize learning in others.
- We believe that learning obliges us to use our knowledge responsibly in the service of our community, both present and future, as well as for the larger benefit of the human race and its home, the earth.
- We believe that learning entails the responsibility to develop and exercise one’s personal “voice” by being public about what one is thinking and feeling concerning one’s community and the world. We seek to affirm the unique voice—spoken, written, and artistic—of each member of the Waring community by giving frequent opportunities for questioning and personal expression.
- We believe that mastery of a second language—French in Waring’s case—greatly enlarges one’s personal comprehension of the world, while furnishing a useful model of how language and culture interrelate.
- We value the liberal arts as those branches of knowledge that contribute to human freedom. We understand freedom not as the removal of all restraint, but as the liberation of mind and imagination that comes through the knowledge of ourselves and our world that we are able to derive from the reserves of wisdom and understanding that have been passed down to us in the form of culture.
- We assume that it is one of our roles as a learning community to be a vehicle for that culture and to play a part in passing it on. But we do not do so uncritically or in a way that arbitrarily excludes important contributions that have arisen outside the mainstream of our own cultural experience. We seek, rather, to be inclusive, beginning with what we know and what has formed us, and then proceeding to make connections with what may be less familiar but is nonetheless valuable outside of the western tradition.