By Hyde School faculty member Lori Hobart, LCSW

As a parent and a faculty member I have the unique opportunity to see the time, commitment, and extra effort our faculty give on a regular basis. Last week the power of this amazing group of people took on a deeper meaning. My son Greg ran into some struggles in the Dean’s area. While this is never what a parent wants to hear, I am left feeling incredibly grateful. Every time a student encounters a challenge concerning their ethics or integrity, many faculty members make the effort to have conversations that may help a student move in a better direction. I always notice and often participate in these types of conversations.

Last week I saw my son engaged in conversation after conversation with concerned faculty. I always sat far enough away in the dining hall as to not make anyone uncomfortable. I walked the long way around if I saw a quiet talk happening in a corner. I didn’t try to find out what was being said or how people thought the talks went. While I am typically a very curious person, curiosity was not the strong sense I was feeling. It was gratitude; enormous, overwhelming gratitude. There was an army of caring, concerned, committed people circling around my son because they believe in his best. Because of my very unique vantage point on this team of faculty, it dawned on me that so many parents never get to see this in action. Our children struggle, as they are hardwired to do in their lives, and there are adults here ready to help.

My son didn’t get special treatment. These conversations are not reserved for a select few; otherwise I wouldn’t be sharing this. Our children are surrounded by adults who are offering the anecdote to shame and low self-worth. The relationships our children are forming are not only life changing, they are brain changing. As kids want to distance themselves from their parents, they are not left alone with their peers to offer their limited feedback and support. They are given the opportunity to hear the tough reality of the situation coupled with a deep belief in their worth, their sense of belonging, and a road map for future possibilities. This is how teenagers battle their challenges without it turning inward and manifesting as anxiety and depression.

While I am displeased that my son was using tobacco, I couldn’t be more grateful that he stumbled while being surrounded by his Hyde community. It is clear that this moment and these conversations have had a significant impact on his outlook. I couldn’t be more proud to be on this team of professionals and I certainly could not be more grateful as a parent.