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Getting Out of Our Bubbles

As I sat in the airport awaiting a flight to San Francisco for an annual meeting of The Heads’ Network, an association of principals of girls’ schools, I was reading Marsha Lederman’s article in The Globe and Mail entitled “Burst Your Comfort Bubble- If Only for the Thrill.” Lederman says, ” We spend so much time in our social and occupational echo chambers, insulated. Venturing out may be a shock to the system, but it also seems essential for discovery.”

Having read the article, I reflected on the past week and, in particular, on a wonderful conversation about our School, our girls, and their learning. Our Curriculum and Department Leaders have been gathering regularly to discuss, in a generative way, what our St. Clement’s learning experience is and should be. Rigour continues to be at the top of the list, incorporating suitable challenges that ensure that our girls step outside their comfort zones or ‘bubbles,’ as Lederman describes.

I was also reminded of a wonderful note I received this week from an SCS alumna that spoke to the importance of recognizing that ‘venturing out’ can only assist one’s growth. As Kate ’10 wrote, “Since I left my last job running a small children’s entertainment company in Toronto to start a job in marketing and sales at a startup in Vancouver, I’ve had about a month off to get settled. I’ve been reflecting on just how different I would have guessed my life would be at 23 when I graduated from SCS in 2010. I was always the girl with the plan; destined to be an actor or a stage star in New York City. I guess having taken a completely different path has allowed me to see that there is room for growth and different branches of opportunity along the way. I had hesitations about ‘giving up’ performing and pursuing something so different- but, I’ve reminded myself that nothing is forever and that if I’m excited – it must be a good choice!”

I shared Kate’s note with our students and staff at Assembly on Friday because, like Lederman’s article, it is a good reminder of the benefits of taking healthy risks and having the courage to take different paths.

As I venture out of my ‘bubble’ for this meeting, I look forward to new discoveries, just as our girls and alumnae do.

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