This past Sunday I attended our annual Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) Annual Heads’ and Chairs’ Conference with our incoming Board Chair Karen McKay. Regardless of it being virtual, I have been looking forward to reflecting on its important theme of Transcending 2020: Recovering and Reinventing.
Our welcome from Executive Director Patti Macdonald set the tone with a thought-provoking quotation from American architect Buckminster Fuller: “We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.” As Patti pointed out, school leaders are called to be architects, designers, authors or inventors.
It has been particularly reinvigorating, during a time of increased focus on day-to-day logistics related to COVID-19 protocols, to consider the exciting possibilities and future of our School and our Clementines – and how best to move forward as architects of that future. As we finalize St. Clement’s School’s 2020-2025 Strategic Framework, one thing is clear: we will ensure that learning is not thought of as simply a product but, rather, an important, sometimes uncomfortable and always challenging process. While in the past, this might have been more difficult for many to understand, COVID-19 has forced us all- regardless of whether we are staff, students, parents, alum, or friends of the School- to both understand how this feels and why it is an imperative going forward.
Never has it been more evident just how important it is to be able to successfully navigate through the unknown in a thoughtful and resilient manner with foundational skills and a willingness to grow. Historically, schools have focused on end results for their students’ education: graduation, the next educational step, and the acquisition of credentials. Looking forward, these end ‘products’ cannot be the only determinants for what and how our girls learn. Being challenged at all levels and seeking and embracing growth as part of the process is, in fact, enabling our girls to be architects in their learning.
It’s an exciting time to be an architect of the future!