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COVID changed a lot about parenting, including how caregivers view the kind of risk-taking that helps build resilience in young children. Now that we are living in a different phase of the pandemic—one that’s more focused on management instead of avoidance—it’s an ideal time for the princiPALS to revisit the topic of resilience: what it is, its many benefits, and how families can build it back into their routines.
- The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey
- Raising Kids by Sheri Glucoft Wong
- “The Conversation: The Purpose of School and Bringing Joy into the Classroom,” featuring Denise Pope
The transcript of this episode appears below.
Conor Bentley (00:01):
From Rowland Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah...
Emma Wellman (00:04):
I'm Emma Wellman.
Brittney Hansen (00:05):
And I'm Brittney Hansen.
And they're the princiPALS.
I'm Conor Bentley. And on today's episode of princiPALS, we'll be revisiting the topic of resilience.
On The PrinciPALS Podcast, we tackle big questions and share big ideas about how to raise excellent humans.
Emma and Brittney, thank you for letting me join you in the princiPALS' office today.
Oh, we're happy to have you.
And I am very excited because we have a new pal joining us on this episode, and going forward. And it's actually an old pal of mine, though. Brittney Hansen, thanks for being a pal.
Thanks, Conor. I'm happy to be here.
As Conor said, my name is Brittney Hansen and I am the Beginning School and Lower School assistant principal here at Rowland Hall. And while my current work centers around supporting our school's youngest learners, my career actually began on the opposite end of the spectrum, working in the world of higher ed. It wasn't until I had kids of my own, though, that I discovered that, for me at least, the learning and growth happening in early childhood and elementary school classrooms is equally exciting as that which happens on a college campus. I've got three kids of my own, all beginning and lower school age, so I've been grappling with the complexities of parenting through the pandemic right alongside the families and our community.
Well, that's so exciting and we're so happy to have you here.
Just so everybody else knows, we'll just reintroduce myself and Emma. I said Brittney is an old pal of mine; we both are Rowland Hall alums and went to high school together. I am a Rowland Hall alum, class of 2001, and also was a teacher in the Upper School for a while, in the now more distant past. And then I also have a master's of education from Westminster College, and I also produce podcasts, including this one.
This one's the best one.
Of course. Absolutely.
My name's Emma. I have a new expanded role since last time we recorded. I'm the Beginning School and Lower School principal at Rowland Hall. This is my fifth year at the school. And one of my very favorite things about my job is that I get to spend time with kids from three to ten or eleven years old, and to connect with their families and their teachers, and be a helper all alongside them during what is a really exciting stretch of their span as learners, but also just as developing humans.
I've also become a parent since the first time we began the podcast. My son was born, believe it or not, in March of 2020. He's a pandemic baby. And so I am learning the ropes as a relative newbie, and so appreciative of our community and definitely using all of my education along the way too.
So today we are revisiting a topic that we addressed in the very first episode of princiPALS, back in 2019. And this is something that I think we wanted to revisit because of the pandemic. And so let's talk about, a little bit, why are we revisiting the topic of resilience and what has changed since the first time we talked about it?
Yeah, so some things have changed and some things have not changed. A lot has happened in the last three years, which required dramatic and immediate changes in parenting strategies, and even in the objectives of parenting, really. All of a sudden, in March of 2020, we all became hyper-focused on ensuring that our children survived. Many parents, of course, are still doing this, and did it for years before COVID-19, but fearing for actual safety of young children wasn't the predominant goal of most parents' lives before the pandemic. And as we are emerging from it and entering a new chapter, I think it's a great opportunity to look carefully at what we want to hold onto from the shift in strategies and then what we need to start letting go of.
So what did we say before the pandemic with regard to developing resilience in younger children?
One thing that I really appreciated about your discussion around resilience a few years ago, Conor and Emma, was this reminder that the word resilience is actually a term from the world of material science. It's really helpful to note that when you describe physical materials, resilience can be defined as the amount of energy a given material can absorb or withstand and still be able to return to its original state. If you go even further back, or all the way back, I suppose, to its Latin roots, resilience is, at its core, about rebounding. You know, it's this notion of anti-fragility: can we bend when we face adversity or do we break? The thing that I'd like to add to that, though, is that when we talk about building resilience within young children, we're often talking about a lot more than just anti-fragility. We're talking about tenacity and stick-with-it-ness. We're talking about a capacity for risk-taking and trying again when something doesn't go exactly as we've planned. We're talking about coping with disappointment, right? All of these bits together contribute to the overall resilience of a child.
And before the pandemic, there was a robust conversation which had been developing for at least 10 years about how to provide children with opportunities to take risks, struggle productively, stretch toward greater independence, et cetera. This was largely in response to a gradual shift in parenting to be increasingly protective; we've all heard terms like helicopter parents and snowplow parents. And so all of those things were happening, and it came from a really wonderful place. Lots of parents want to be hands-on and supportive of their kids. They're eager to make life for their kids totally awesome, both for the sake of awesomeness, but also to give them the very best shot at a successful life in a world that feels increasingly complicated and competitive. So for better or for worse, avoidance of risk goes hand in hand sometimes with this approach. This is why we saw books like How to Raise an Adult and Grit and How Children Succeed and Free-Range Kids and lots more be published in the early and mid-2010s and beyond. And they were bestsellers; they were gobbled up by thoughtful parents and caregivers and educators who were eager to think deeply about how to raise kids in the best ways.
And I even remember before that, because I stopped teaching in 2009, and resilience was a big topic when I was teaching in the Upper School at Rowland Hall. And so I think this has been a big topic for a long time. And so with that being the case, you know, we did a podcast episode about it and then we had a global pandemic. So what happened for parents when all of the COVID stuff started?
Yeah, so I mean, it's been kind of a while now, we're rounding the bend toward 2023 as we sit here, but cast your mind back to early pandemic times. Many of us were afraid to leave our houses. As far as we knew it, it was life or death, right? And so our tolerance for risk, especially with respect to our kids, our dear ones, became super-duper low. We were working, for many of us, to keep our kids alive at all costs; that's how real it felt. And so our main focus was on safety—real safety. So we forgot that it's actually really good and important for kids to do things which are unsafe. That's an important part of childhood. And we just had to kind of forget about that for a time.
That's right. I also think we felt a pretty deep concern about our children's lack of joy and those moments of joy that we felt like, in many ways, we were withholding from them. We had to remove so many sources of pleasure for their young lives. And so we were eager to plug in fun and treats and surprises in any way that we could. We were more reluctant to expose them to things that could be potentially be disappointing, right, unless they were absolutely necessary. And you know, in those moments, as you mentioned, Emma, we just, you know, we forgot in a lot of ways that it's actually really good and super important for kids to be disappointed and to learn clearly that they can recover from that disappointment pretty easily.
And I remember that being very much on my mind, even though I don't have kids myself, but thinking about, you know, how formative those years are and how missing out on, you know, the Christmas play in third grade is a big deal. Whereas, you know, when you get to be my age, you know, in my late 30s, year to year doesn't change that much. You know, 33 is not that different from 34, 35, but 6 is very different from 7, and 7 is very different from 8. And there's those really formative great experiences. So that obviously created a recalibration of parenting, and now that we are coming out of the pandemic to a certain degree, what now is happening as far as recalibrating again? Because I'm assuming that that's something that has to happen since, as you're saying, some of those joys and things that, you know, weren't available during the pandemic now are back a little bit, at least for most people.
Yeah, I think that's right, Conor, that we do need to recalibrate the way that we're parenting and thinking about risk and disappointment and resilience in our kids. And while we're not done with COVID-19 to be sure, many of us are moving into something more akin to a management phase rather than simply avoidance. And as a result of this shift, most things in school life and home life are beginning to look a lot more like they did before the pandemic than potentially during. And I'm realizing more and more that for me as a parent, this means that it's time to recommit to giving my kids opportunities to struggle productively, to giving them chances to take risks, to get messy, to feel disappointment, because I know that that's what they need. We couldn't give our kids many of these things during the pandemic years, but we owe it to them to get back to this. They really deserve it.
I think we've paid a lot of attention to certain kinds of experiences that we've been really eager to get kids reconnected with, like playdates and after-school activities and parties, and we may have focused more on those, understandably, than some of the really productive, but sometimes challenging, components of childhood that they also didn't have access to.
So we need to make sure that kids are getting the support they need and factoring in the difficulties of the pandemic, but not coddling them too much either. So there's still kind of minimum requirements that we want for the kids and accountability that needs to happen, but certain things can also be hard and we don't need to shy away from those things, as now life isn't as hard as it was during the pandemic.
Yeah. A teacher I admire very much, a longtime preschool teacher, often says, "We can do hard things." And she was saying that for decades before the pandemic, and she said it lots of times to her students, and also to adults, during the pandemic, and it's something I carry with me all the time, and I think it's important. The reason that resonates, I think, is because it's so important to send kids the message that we know they're competent and capable and worthy of trust and responsibility. We do this not only by saying so, but by demonstrating it when we give them trust and give them real, actual responsibility.
This summer, I reread a bunch of favorite books of mine (well, really, I listen to them on audiobooks) on this topic of resilience and on children being capable to try to recalibrate myself as a person who spends a lot of time with kids. And a great one is The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey, which I definitely recommend, and there will be others that we'll include in the show notes that you can take a look at. But a quote that jumped out at me this summer when I was listening is: "Children want to feel capable, and we used to let them before we took the onus of household duties away from them. Instead of teaching our children how to be responsible, reliable members of a family in which children contribute, we do everything for them. Worse, we don't expect competence from them, and when they do give household duties a shot, we swoop in and we fix."
And I think that's, you know, maybe a little stronger than many of us might say feels right in our households. Lots of kids contribute to the work of the household. But I do, I mean, I notice certainly in myself that, you know, my nearly three-year-old will feed the dog and there will be kibble everywhere, and I have a hard time not going back around and cleaning up that kibble or making sure that all of the food got into the bowl that needed to get there. And kids often begin trying to contribute to household responsibilities in toddlerhood, as my son does, and many of them quickly get the impression that they're not doing it right. And so then they back off, either because we are too much in a hurry to wait for them to finish it or because we go back around behind them and properly remake the bed or, you know, rewash that dish. They also sometimes begin to recognize that they might be able to get grown-ups to do a bunch of stuff for them. And kids are often eager to find ways to sit back and let that kind of thing happen. Not because they're lazy, but because they're excellent anthropologists. But I think we all agree that the work of the household should belong to everyone who's in that household. And so this is a good sort of particular thing to focus on when we're thinking about ways to give kids opportunities to be resilient and demonstrate their capability.
It's the same thing we see, Emma, in early childhood classrooms all the time, right? We see kids who can very well zip up their coat or have the capacity to learn to do so, right? But the first instinct, often, is to ask the teacher, "Zip up my coat." It's the really good early childhood educators, though, that know to say, "I think you can do that." Right? You can do that, you can get on your mittens, you can get on your boots. You just need a little coaching about how to make it happen and a little practice and beyond that you're capable, and we're going to be here to help you along the way.
Well, it's the "teach man to fish" versus "give a man a fish," right? And that's the thing, you don't want your kids to go around just asking for fish when they can catch one themselves.
That's exactly right. And I never actually read that, Emma, but I think maybe I will now. But what you're discussing from Jessica Lahey's book has a lot, I think, of overlap in what I heard from Sheri Glucoft Wong, who is a child and family therapist who visited our school recently to talk to both parents and faculty around this topic of everyday resilience. And Sherri asserted that we can't give our kids protection from hurt and harm and boo-boos or broken hearts. And, in her words, she said, "That's not our gift to give." And I just loved it when she said that; I think that's exactly right. But what we can and should do is give them our confidence in their own resilience and their own sturdiness. And we gift them this confidence by parenting in a way in which we intentionally give our kids plenty of opportunities to grow in the capacity to bounce back, to rebound, to be resilient. She also spoke a lot about disappointment in our talk with families, which I really appreciated, and described the tolerance for disappointment to be somewhat akin to a muscle that children need to develop and strengthen over time. And for me, that's been a great analogy to keep top of mind as I weigh through everyday life with my own three kids. There are micro moments pretty much every day during which we have to decide as parents whether we'll give into our kids' wants and needs in that very moment, or whether we'll hold the line and allow them to feel some level of disappointment and, in turn, get a good rep at strengthening this muscle.
Well, no, and I'm sure you've got some good examples with three kids, Brittney, of that kind of stuff because, and that's the thing, I mean, I think back to, you know, the idea of: life is going to throw these things at you anyway, so it's good to practice it in a safe space with your parents, who can help you navigate it, because, yeah, there's going to be disappointment and nobody can protect you from it—not your parents, not your friends, not, you know, anybody who cares about you. But I'm sure you've got lots of these moments with your kids, right?
Certainly, yeah. I mean, disappointment is around the corner, you know, potentially for all of us all the time, and it's—literally for my three kids, we're lucky enough to have a commute that's, like, four minutes long from home to school. And in that four minutes we pass my kids' favorite coffee shop, which houses their favorite chocolate chip muffins. And so, regardless of the day, when we pass that coffee shop, there will be three small voices in the back of my car asking for chocolate chip muffins. And every time that ask comes my way, I have a decision to make as a parent: I can choose, you know, a brief moment of joy for the three of them, and sometimes I do, I make that choice intentionally. But more often than not, what I choose is to say, "Actually, no, it's not a muffin day. We're on our way to school and that's where we're going to keep going." And that might be met with some significant disappointment. Sometimes they're able to roll with it, sometimes there are tears from the four-year-old, sometimes there are negotiations involved from the older kids in the car who say, "But I forgot my snack and the muffin would do for the snack." Right? But I hold the line as the parent because I know that this is a good moment for them daily to practice feeling disappointment and then realize, just a few minutes later when we arrive at school, that they're okay, they're going to be fine.
Right. Well, what happens, then, if you choose to get the muffin, and you're ready and you've made that decision, and then you get there and they don't have any?
Happens all the time. It's the worst. No good.
Since hearing Sheri Glucoft Wong give that talk, this notion of disappointment, and having reps in disappointment, as being productive for kids has been so helpful for me as a parent because, in moments when I'm disappointing my child because I'm saying no to something or I'm making him stop doing something that he would prefer to continue doing, there's a little voice in my head saying, "You're welcome. This is good for you." Which helps make his discomfort more tolerable for me because, of course, I love him and I mostly don't want him to be upset.
That's right. Sometimes I even, since this talk, name it for my kids. For the older two especially, I say, "You know, the feeling you're feeling right now is disappointment, and it's going to be fine."
Yeah. That's great. Yeah, there are lots of opportunities for building resilience and capability at home. Just a couple other ones that I was thinking about, that I think are ones that definitely went away during COVID-y times, but they're ones even that I think some people were feeling uncomfortable with a little bit before that. So: like having a child walk to a friend's house that's maybe around the block or, you know, out of sight, they're out of sight for a little while from their parent. Or going into the store to buy a loaf of bread or the eggs (eggs is trickier because you don't want to drop them). But like taking money in, going to where the bread is, paying for it, and doing this, you know, with an elementary-aged kid is something that was very common for many years and these days feels a lot riskier, but it sends a powerful message to kids about what they're capable of. And, again, you know, buying groceries is a really important, an authentic contribution to the work of the family. Like, you need those eggs and this kid's the one to buy them.
There are also some examples we can think about from school. So, in kindergarten, at least at Rowland Hall, but I think in lots of places, children are really stretching themselves physically. Their bodies have grown, they're trying out some new skills, they're feeling really competent in terms of knowing lots of stuff. Kindergarten is sort of a sea change moment culturally, so kids feel like they're going to real school. And so we see a lot of children in kindergarten eager to learn to climb trees. And so in our kindergarten program, we help them learn to do that. We coach them about it by standing at the bottom of the tree and giving them advice about where their hands and feet might go. And sometimes they get way up higher than they thought they were going to go and they get a little scared at the top. Sometimes there are tears. But there is the teacher down at the bottom coaching them to find their way back down. And, boy, when they get to the bottom, do they feel great about making it and how high they climbed and how they made it on their way back down.
That reminds me of being a young skier, too, going down a run that maybe you didn't think you could do and it was scary. But the adult saying like, "No, you can do this." And then you get to the bottom and you look back up at the very steep hill you just came down and you feel so accomplished, even if it was scary and a little bit, you know, nerve-wracking and the thought of doing it was something that you didn't think you could do.
Yeah, I relate to that about the greens because I'm a terrible skier, but I know that there are kids who do hard ones.
We'll get you on the blue someday.
Another example from school around, in particular, practicing disappointment is something we see in the Lower School from time to time, which is when a child doesn't get into a club or an activity that they were excited about. When there's a limited number of spaces or a particular application requirement and a child doesn't get that thing, it can potentially be a highly disappointing experience for them in that moment. And as a school administrator, you know, we see this from time to time and we see a lot of different aftermath that can follow. We see, sometimes, families jumping in to try to navigate that disappointment or mitigate that disappointment for their kid. And what happens, often, in that moment is that the child doesn't understand or realize that they can be empowered to solve the problem or to work through the disappointment on their own. Other times, we see children come to us and try to negotiate an out or an in to the club that they want. We had one last year that I remember so clearly, and she came in and she was adamant that we had misprinted the deadline for the application, or that she had received the wrong information, and we were able to point to her—she was a fifth grader, so we were able to hold her accountable—and we were able to point to the information that was correct and that she had misread or forgotten or lost track of. And we were able to let her know that, yes, it feels disappointing right now and, no, we're not going to bend the rules for you to take part in this activity, and you're going to be okay, and I'm pretty sure that next time you're going to read a little more carefully and you're going to know that you can manage that process on your own. Right? A little executive functioning–building in that moment too. But letting her know that sometimes you are going to feel disappointed and your, you know, elementary school life is going continue and it's going to be all right.
Well, and I remember from my own childhood as well as when I was a coach—I coached middle school basketball for a number of years, and I know that's a little bit older than the age group we're talking about, but I think this applies—is realizing that, you know, with basketball, only five players can be on the court at a given time. And we do our best, especially with the younger kids, to make sure that everybody gets a chance to play and that everybody feels that they can participate. But there are certain times where the better players get to play. And I was never one of the top-five guys when I was a kid. And there were plenty of kids that I had to put on the bench who weren't quite as good as some of the other kids. And that can be hard. And I think, you know, I remember having conversations with certain parents, some who were able to deal with it and understood kind of what was happening, and other parents who would kind of angle for their kid to get in the game. And I think that, you know, there is a way to get in the game, right? It's to go home and practice and get better and work on your skills. And I think that that's something that I always appreciated when I was coaching was, you could see the kids who, yeah, maybe they weren't in the game at the end with the best players, but the next year, when they came back, they were because they'd gone home and worked on their game. And I think without that initial disappointment, they wouldn't have had the onus to then go home and work on their game, right? Like, we know Michael Jordan didn't make his high school basketball team at the first try and look what happened. So disappointment can fuel good things.
That's right. And I think that moment for those kids that you're describing, Conor, comes from the grown-ups in their lives making the intentional choice to allow them the space for that struggle instead of solving the problem for them. The older folks around them said, "You know, you are capable of solving this problem on your own." And those kids were able to learn that through that process.
Yeah. And I want to highlight that, like, parents and caregivers are just doing their best all the time. It comes from a great place. They really are eager to do what they can. And I think it can take a while to practice these skills, and we're not suggesting that there's like a flipping of a switch here. It's hard. It's hard to be the kind of parent you aim to be or, you know, we can all read a book and be like, "Great, starting tomorrow, I'll be all those ways, all the time." But it's tough. And so we gotta also celebrate the tiny successes. So I have one to share, which is that I was at a museum last weekend with my son, and there are giant, tall escalators in the middle of that museum, and escalators are very appealing to people kind of four and under, but you know, two-and-a-half-year-olds really like escalators. And so we rode up all the way to the top, and then he let me know at the top that he wanted to step onto the down escalator himself first and have me watch him go down. Which I know he can do, but it's a giant escalator, and so I was a little nervous about it. And so I noticed myself feeling nervous about sending this small human down these metal steps, away from me. And then I also noticed that I was worried for his physical safety on the escalator, not about whether he was, like, touching the handrails and getting COVID on his hands. And so I kind of felt good about that. I was worrying about a different thing in that moment than I might have a year ago. And that feels like progress. I feel sort of proud about that.
How did he do?
He did fine. He made it. No squished toes, didn't lose him. And then we did like seven more laps.
Awesome. So it was successful in multiple regards.
Yeah. And then I was less nervous those next seven times.
See, so we're building resilience in ourselves too, right?
In ourselves too, yes.
Well, I think that's true, though. I mean, because thinking about that—like, I know, for example, when something happened in my childhood that was hard for me, like, I know my mom internalized it and felt it and, you know, her heart broke along with mine, but she also knew that it wasn't the time to always insert herself in the proceedings, right? Like, she wasn't going to call the school because I didn't get off the bench in the game because she knew, probably deep down somewhere that, like, those kids were all better than me. And so calling the school would've been fruitless and kind of ridiculous.
So it wouldn't be a princiPALS podcast if we didn't give out a little homework. We like to give everybody some takeaways that they can do at home. And so we will have the princiPALS give you the homework now.
Thanks, Conor. Our first bit of homework for folks listening is to notice and really attend to the moments when you're letting your child take a risk or allowing your child to cope on their own with disappointment. Because that noticing, that attending carefully to those things, will inevitably lead to more opportunities for you to do that, right, to doing it more often.
The second bit of homework is PDF: playtime, downtime, family time. This is not my idea; I stole it from Denise Pope, who talked about it on a different podcast that I quite like from NAIS. And so, Denise says that one of the best ways we can set kids up to be able to be resilient and to stretch themselves and do hard things is by giving them a bit of PDF every single day: playtime, downtime, family time. And I want to be clear, like, these can all happen at the same moment. You might be listening and thinking, "I don't have time for all that business," but they could be 15 minutes of following your kids' lead as they play with something at home, working with LEGOS or trains or whatever. It could be just sitting down on the couch, you know, looking out the window, chatting about the day, you know, kind of being near each other in that family time way. But there's no intensity around it. There's nothing to be done. Nobody's to-ing and fro-ing, or managing responsibilities; just a little bit of reset time. So PDF every day: playtime, downtime, family time.
And the third and last piece of homework to share is to monitor your own intensity around social and academic things happening for your kids. So when a difficult moment arises and your child's intensity may grow and may be escalated in that moment, it's really important that the grown-ups, the parents, in the room are the ones remaining level, right, to allow the kids the space to work through that challenge and get that practice rep. Sheri Glucoft Wong, who we talked about before, had a great recommendation for parents, and that was to lean on the response of the word "oh" when talking to your kids about difficult things that happened. You know, so your kid comes home and says, "Somebody kicked me on the playground today," and instead of responding with, "Oh my gosh, what happened? Tell me who did it, who was there? How did the grown-ups help you? What happened next? How did you feel? Did you cry?" Instead of raising that level of intensity with your child, just respond with the word "oh" and see what comes next from your child, and continue to do that for a little bit. And through that responding in a level, neutral way, you'll really understand sort of what that moment meant for your child and you'll give them the space to figure out what they need next.
Sheri even talked about using "oh" as a filler throughout the conversation. So like: "Somebody kicked me on the playground." "Oh?" "Yeah, it kind of hurt my shin." "Oh." "And then I went to the nurse." "Oh." "And then the nurse gave me an ice pack and I felt better." "Oh." And that child walked through the whole process, managing it on their own without additional intensity, and you just said one word in four different ways.
So just to review, the homework was: notice the moments when you're doing the thing, when you're letting your kid take a risk or cope with disappointment and give yourself a high five for it; PDF: playtime, downtime, family time, every day; and monitor your own intensity.
All of the resources mentioned by the princiPALS will be in the show notes for this episode. And there are also the other episodes of The Principals Podcast on the website rowlandhall.org/podcast. So we hope you'll listen to those as well.
I'm Emma Wellman.
And I'm Brittney Hansen.
And they're the princiPALS.
About Emma Wellman
Emma Wellman is the Beginning School and Lower School principal at Rowland Hall, an independent private school in Salt Lake City, Utah. Emma joined Rowland Hall in July 2018 and spent three years as the Beginning School (preschool) principal before also joining the Lower School (elementary) team. Prior to Rowland Hall, Emma was a teacher and administrator at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, an adjunct instructor at the City Colleges of Chicago, and the owner of a childcare business, Banana Mashers. Emma holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from the University of Michigan and a master’s in child development from the Erikson Institute.
About Brittney Hansen ’02
Brittney Hansen is a graduate of Rowland Hall’s class of 2002. She has been a Beginning School and Lower School assistant principal at Rowland Hall since 2022, and was a member of the Beginning School faculty from 2019 to 2022. Prior to Rowland Hall, Brittney interned briefly at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and subsequently worked for six years at Washington University in various roles, including assistant director of residential life. Brittney holds a bachelor’s in social thought and analysis from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s in education from Harvard University.
About Conor Bentley ’01
Conor Bentley is a graduate of Rowland Hall’s class of 2001. He holds a master’s degree in education, works in higher education, and has produced several podcasts, including the public-radio parody Consider Our Knowledge.