Director's letter

Dear member of our community,

I have been asked the following questions many times: What is Transylvania College about? Why are we who we are? Why this community? What do we believe in? Why do we do this work?

It took years of personal and team reflections, many conversations, books, conferences, training sessions and visits around the world to confirm and reaffirm my beliefs, and phrase the following letter. It comes from my heart, and the heart of our community. It’s for all of us, and about all of us. This is Transylvania College, this is who we are becoming, and these are our aspirations.

We are developing a school that has at its core the wellbeing of all its members. We want students, parents and staff to thrive.

We care deeply about what is going on in the homes of our students and staff because when we leave our homes and come to school, we don’t leave our problems or personalities behind. We don’t become different human beings just by passing through a “magic” school gate.

We believe in a school that is transparent, authentic, that has a clear sense of identity, the tools and resources to be autonomous, that finds creative solutions to problems and inspires its members to build healthy relationships. We nurture a culture in which we rely on each other for support; we feel cared for and safe. We are mindful of the needs and feelings of ourselves and others. We give each other perspective and a view of the bigger picture and the long-term impact. We don’t take relationships for granted. Relationships require effort and reciprocity. We are grateful for our environment and what it provides us. We are an extension of the family, as we see family as an extension of the school. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to be seen and heard from a place of kindness, empathy and compassion for ourselves and others. We support each other's dreams, aspirations and we inspire others to do the same. We remember that life is fun and don’t take ourselves too seriously. We save mental pictures of the pure and joyful moments of life. We care about creating loving memories to last a lifetime. We know children are whole and they are worthy of our time, energy and attention.

We lead. We belong.

We believe in a community of parents who understand that together we are stronger, and that together we can suffer the discomfort of healing our cultural and personal pasts. Then we leave the past behind and live in the here and now. We are a united village that raises a generation of leaders who seek to grow with others and not at their expense or in competition with others, who seek to discover their big potential while doing so for others. These leaders give because they are grateful for what they have and they are generous in their assumptions of others. We are a community of parents that model healthy boundaries, empathy, compassion and learning from failure. We proactively seek to build friendships and support groups within the parent community. We are involved in the school life. We invest effort in our own personal development and understanding the challenges children are facing to be able to give them the support they need. We develop as parents to answer the needs of our children. We face discomfort and evolve through it for ourselves and our children. We prioritise time with our partner and children.

We understand parenting is a journey, not a destination, we value progress and not perfection.

We believe in a community of adults (teachers and staff) who all teach every day. We all have a calling for teaching and working for the benefit of young people. We are willing to work with ourselves to be able to be there for children through their discomfort, learning and life's hard lessons. We celebrate the small wins that come from making mistakes and learning, we celebrate the big wins that come from mastering a skill. We create memorable, engaging and relevant learning experiences. We continuously evolve as a team and see the value of synergy as a way to accomplish this. We are on our own journeys as humans, parents, relatives, partners, and find in the school a supportive environment where we can thrive, as our personal and professional journeys come together creating a force of change. We model empathy, wholehearted apologies, value all the teachable moments and lead a life of courage and consideration. We recognise that change is inevitable.

We work from a place of authenticity, integrity and responsibility for our words, actions and feelings.

We believe in a community of students who care for each other and who are inspired by the adults around them to develop through difficult moments, conversations, mistakes, discomfort and friendships. We will fall many times and grow stronger with a sense of knowing who we are from challenging experiences. We will discover our strengths and our vulnerabilities and trust the adults around us to guide our individual paths. We are generous in our assumptions about the intentions, words and actions of others. We seek to understand rather than judge. We act from a place of kindness toward self and others, and toward our environment. We own our feelings, words and actions and choose to repair when they have a negative impact on others. We belong to our families, to the school and to the broader community. We explore the world and develop an awareness of it. We leave a mark on everything we do by being creative and finding solutions for the greater good. We work for a cause by discovering a calling rather than a career or a job. Through personal leadership, we find a path to meaning and fulfilment. We lead a mindful, healthy life, having a private practice of recharging, renewal and ongoing learning.

Through the people in our community, we leave a legacy for a kinder, courageous and moral society.

With love for our work,

Ruxandra Mercea and Transylvania College