At Friday’s assembly, our Director of Student Life Ms Macintosh reminded us that regardless of whether we were returning staff and students or new members of the St. Clement’s community, we were probably all experiencing something new- whether it was new courses, new teachers, new gold belts, new classes or even new shoes!
Ms Macintosh’s message was a timely and important one for every one of us to consider. As she aptly pointed out, it is OK to acknowledge that it takes courage and support to try or start something new.
Taking things one step further as we begin the year in our small, close-knit community, let us also consider the approach we take in supporting those experiencing new situations.
The St. Clement’s community is tasked with ensuring that our Clementines are, among other things, courageous. Accordingly, we must be prepared to support them as they step outside their comfort zones. We must be ever-focused on building capacity in our community -students, staff and families- to enable our students to experience the discomfort that newness can cause with an understanding that the experience will be a journey through stages. As I said to our new parents at a reception on Thursday evening, the School sees our parents as partners in guiding and supporting our girls, whether through exciting times or more challenging ones.
Effective support that fosters growth can look different in different stages and situations. It can be holding a hand, in the literal or figurative sense, and being alongside our girls and daughters; conversely, it can be taking a step back and letting go such that we are encouraging an evolving independence. Determining the appropriate approach is best done through building strong partnerships based on trust, expertise and understanding. Such relationships will ensure that we achieve our ultimate goal: launching our girls into their futures filled with the courage to stand out as confident women.
We look forward to a year of newness, courage and strong partnerships that support both.