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Welcome to our Wichita Friends School Blog!

Mr. Matt introduces our Wichita Friends School Blog

As the start of the school semester draws near, we like to give children and parents insight into our daily life at Wichita Friends School. Over the next few months, teachers and board of directors members will be blogging about the special culture at Wichita Friends School.

Our first blogger is Matt Roberts … Mr. Matt, as our kiddos know him in their classrooms. Matt, an exchange student from England, has been with us as a marketing intern for 1 ½ years. Do you remember picking a variety of odd jobs during your student years? In addition to sharing his marketing expertise with us, Matt was our part-time custodian for a semester and spent the most recent six months in our classrooms as a paraprofessional. It was fun to discover how quickly some of our 3-year-olds picked up on his English (as in across the pond) accent with new words they learned! Read further to learn more about Mr. Matt …

My introduction to Wichita Friends School was in February 2022 when, while working on my degree at Newman University, I interviewed as a marketing intern candidate. As soon as I stepped into the school building, I felt incredibly welcomed by the teachers, the children and all the volunteers.

I feel very fortunate to have worked for and with Dr. Shelly Hoffman, Head of School, during my senior year at Newman. I find that I store an experiential library of role models in my memory as I look toward venturing into a professional life. I’m pleased to add Dr. Hoffman to my library of professionals who have influenced me. She allowed me to grow immensely by delegating plenty of tasks and giving me space to express my creativity. She is an excellent communicator, and her passion for what they do here at Wichita Friends School is very apparent and inspiring.

After ten months of working with Dr. Hoffman and the Marketing Committee as an intern, I was given the opportunity to work as a paraprofessional in the classrooms … preschool through elementary. I loved being with the teachers and children! I saw the dedication of our teachers to their students and how, every day, they educate children not just about facts and figures, but also about emotions and social skills and how to pursue what brings happiness and joy.

Something I will carry with me into the future is the skill-set of Conscious Discipline, a classroom management approach that teaches children (and adults!) to identify their emotions and the consequences of their actions, and to choose non-volatile responses to difficult situations. I loved seeing how the teachers communicated respect and affirmation to their students when “discipline” was needed. I entered my time as a para feeling unsure and a bit apprehensive but left feeling proud and grateful to have been given an opportunity to have so many positive interactions with our future generation.

I am grateful that so many young children get such a great academic and emotional start at Wichita Friends School. If asked to describe Wichita Friends School with one phrase, it would be “the best kept secret in Wichita.”

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