St. Clement’s School recently hosted Dave Mochel, the second speaker in our LINCWell speaker series. Dave was an engaging and authentic speaker, and his messages were greatly appreciated by staff, students, and community members who attended his presentations and spoke with him throughout the day. Perhaps what has resonated most with me has been that as we deal with self-improvement, we must do so with self-compassion.
This past Saturday, I attended a Vex Robotics competition at Appleby College to see our girls compete. It is worth noting that in a field of 31 teams, 6 of them were from St. Clement’s. I was enormously proud of our girls- not just because of their energy and enthusiasm- but, more importantly, how they demonstrated the ability to be self-compassionate while aspiring to improve at every turn. As I spoke with our girls, watched them interact, and witnessed some of their competitions, I marvelled at their support for one another, their resilience when things didn’t go as they had expected, and their willingness and capacity to reflect in order to improve.
Our school has an eye on self-improvement all the time to ensure that our girls are continually challenged in a supportive and engaging environment. Over this last year, in particular, we have been working hard on a self-evaluation process in preparation for our Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) accreditation visit. This requires that we reflect thoughtfully on all that we do relative to indicators of effective practice in eleven standards including mission and values, co-curriculum and the learning environment, academic program, school leadership, and commitment to school improvement.
St. Clement’s has much about which to be proud, but we must also always be reflective and consider areas for growth and improvement. As we worked on our internal evaluation with our entire staff over the past year, and as we now welcome the arrival of a CAIS Visiting Committee on Sunday, it has been important for us as a staff to remind each other not only of the tremendous benefit this process provides, but of how much we have accomplished since our last accreditation seven years ago.
We are looking forward to welcoming our Visiting Committee and I believe it is because of how- just like our girls- we are ensuring self-compassion is a part of self-improvement.