Rite of Passage | Franklin Academy

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Rite of Passage

During the first term of the new school year we spend a lot of time getting to know one another as valued and respected members of the Franklin family. Much of the work occurs at the team level, but we come together every day in Community Meeting to acknowledge, celebrate, and foster our shared life in this boarding school. We also employ certain strategies and embrace long-standing traditions to facilitate the development of close friendships across the school.

Yesterday during the long Wednesday Community Meeting our teachers and students experienced the Franklin Academy version of Speed Friending. Students were briefed ahead of time regarding conversational icebreakers, facial experiences, eye contact, and body language. Then, students and teachers were mixed and matched across teams and divided into four equal groups, each assigned to a large classroom in the Humanities Building. The participants sat in two rows of facing chairs. The occupants of one row stayed put, while the occupants of the second row shifted down one seat to the left after each two-minute speed friending conversation.

By the end of the session everyone had conversations with ten or twelve different people. Some were friends and classmates; others were less well-known.  Regardless, students walked away from speed friending knowing each other a little better and acknowledging the possibility that opportunities for friendship exist everywhere at Franklin Academy. 

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