Over the past several weeks, our faculty have been writing midterm reports. While this timing and writing of reports has been done for years, this is the first year with a new database and entry system. Last year, the school researched and selected a new student information system, as our current one was not serving us as effectively and efficiently as we wanted. As with most new things- and particularly technology based systems- when setting up new databases there is a tremendous amount of unseen front-end work involved, including frequent situations requiring trouble-shooting, and most often, it seems, during times of stress.
As our organization goes through necessary change in many areas, we are continually reminded that change is challenging- and uncomfortable. The process for midterm reports was no different. For faculty, new entry methods, occasional system outages and different reporting requirements were all understandably unsettling. For administration members who were working to support and prepare faculty by encouraging and problem solving when glitches came along, there was a constant ebb and flow of tense moments. For support staff, working tirelessly as they sorted through unanticipated issues, there were many times of uncertainty. While this has all gone on behind the scenes, we anticipate that as our parents and students are exposed to new systems and reporting, there will be more ups and downs. These reactions and the upheavals are normal results of change.
Admittedly, I was on the sidelines through all of this; however, being on the sidelines allows one to observe, and what I saw impressed me enormously.
Whilst experiencing a new system and process, all of our staff members were also carrying on with the tasks required day to day- working, teaching and coaching. While there were most certainly times where concern seemed ever-present and panic imminent, through discussion, listening and excellent problem- solving skills, someone would address the issue at hand and things would carry on.
We have talked much of the importance of modeling resilience and skills such as effective problem solving for our girls in order that they build their own capacities in this area. While there were times when I am sure staff felt that “all they could do was keep breathing,” their steadfastness, determination and most importantly, sense of humour, was impressive. For me, the sideline observation was just how fortunate St. Clement’s is to have a staff with the capacity and willingness to change- despite the times of uncertainty