A new year, a new grade, a new class or a new space, and for our Grads of 2015, new schools. All of this newness is what our students- and by default our parents- are facing as we start the 2015-2016 academic year.
The word ‘new’ can conjure up a variety of images, thoughts and perceptions depending on the person or the situation. For many, ‘new’ means opportunities, expanded learning, excited optimism; for others, it can conjure up feelings of uncertainty, worry, and even pessimism that something new cannot possibly be as good as the ‘old.’ While both approaches are fairly common, what I have found is that change is constant and, thus, our role as we prepare our Clementines is to educate our girls beyond course content, to ensure that they possess the ability to be flexible and adaptable and work with courage and curiosity as they face the ‘new.’
At the end of last year, Laura Mustard, our St. Clement’s archivist, sent me an address given by Hazel Perkin, past Principal, in 1976 at a 75th Anniversary Service. The address was entitled “A Vision of the Future.” In it, Miss Perkin says the following of the skills needed for the 1980s:
“A girl will need to have a strong intellectual bias. She must not only tolerate complexity, but welcome it as an intellectual challenge…the preferred skills will be analytical and intellectual.”
The skills about which Miss Perkin spoke almost forty years ago are ones being highlighted as necessary for the 21st century. How prescient.
I am excited about our new year commencing, with new learning spaces, new staff and new students and their families. I am also excited about the future and St. Clement’s School. It is evident to me that we are carrying on the ‘old’ tradition of preparing our girls for the ‘new.’
Happy New Year, Everyone.