Needless to say, I have been thinking a tremendous amount about what one can learn in light of the COVID-19 health crisis.
Our community is increasingly diverse. I celebrated Easter this past weekend, while other community members celebrated Passover or will celebrate Ramadan beginning later this month. In all of these celebrations and others, followers are reminded that faith, and support of others less fortunate, is often strengthened during- and because of- times of darkness.
On Easter Sunday, I linked to the service at my church, Christ Church Deer Park. During her message, The Reverend Canon Cheryl Palmer reminded parishioners of this. She said “New life starts in the dark; whether it is a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb, or Jesus in the tomb, it starts in the dark.”
Over the course of four weeks that feels like months in some ways, our lives have changed exponentially.
While adapting St. Clement’s School’s teaching and learning approach has been a huge adjustment, the lack of being together physically as a school community has also been a significant change. Outside of school, we aren’t able to be with extended family, gather with friends, or access services and supports as usual. And, most importantly, we are witnesses- directly or indirectly- to the loss of lives to this virus, and the toll it takes on people- be they family and community members, friends, or the healthcare workers who have been so remarkable and so busy.
It is, indeed, a dark time.
However, these times provide opportunities if we look for, and seize them. What can we learn from our experiences, and how might we prepare for the ‘new life’ about which Reverend Palmer spoke?
SCS has a tremendous opportunity to learn from our quick shift to remote working and learning. What approaches are working? What tweaks can we make? What are we currently missing? What aspects should we maintain when we return to 21 St. Clements Avenue? Just like our students working on inquiry and project-based learning, we must ask ourselves essential questions as we work through this time. Experiencing what we have up to this point, a key question I ponder is: how might we reimagine our girls’ learning experience to ensure that they are future-ready?
In a blog post by Seth Godin, he reminds the reader that change is slow to happen, “Because it’s more comfortable to stay where you are.” What I love is his last line: “Next time, take the lead. Not because you have to, but because you can.”
While we are in dark times, I am confident that there is light ahead. We must be leaders to that light.