It was an absolute joy welcoming back almost our entire student population to 21 St. Clements Avenue last week. While the year, once again, has started off differently and the “new normal” means our health and safety protocols are still in effect, I am excited to begin the 2021-2022 school year in person and experience the physical togetherness that makes our SCS community the special one it is.
While there is no question that there are many things about which we must be careful to safeguard ourselves and each other from COVID-19 – not just within our walls but also within our larger community – the beginning of this year has felt so much better than last.
At this time last year, things felt unknown and unclear. While we were provided with required and recommended health and safety protocols, the COVID situation continued to change and shift quickly. Not being able to control situations with the help of expertise, resources, and even sometimes mindsets was hugely challenging.
And, with the pandemic laying bare the substantial inequities in our communities and world, it was evident, and continues to be, that we have a responsibility to educate ourselves and our students about these realities and how we can and should contribute to change.
However, as odd at this sounds, with some distance and some rest, I can better appreciate some of the silver linings that have resulted from this experience. The pandemic has highlighted what we can learn and accomplish if we focus on a one-step-at-a-time approach, while taking care of ourselves and others during uncomfortable challenges.
At our School’s opening assembly, I read What The Road Said by author Cleo Lane. I selected it because its central message is as much for me and other adults as it is for our students. Lane writes about what the road can teach us: don’t focus on the end but, rather, what we can learn from the journey. Even if there are stumbles and steps backward, know that these are normal; and, if we come across discomfort or discord, address it with kindness, love, and curiosity.
In the end, learning is as a result of travelling on the road rather than any end destination.
Welcome to our new community members and welcome back to all those returning. I look forward to travelling the road together and learning lots along the way.