This past weekend I had the good fortune to visit outside with a close friend who is also a colleague Head of School. With her school year having recently finished, she was staying at a little cottage just outside of Toronto. As we started to catch up, we realized that we had met at this same place almost exactly a year ago.
We talked about how we were each feeling a year ago: exhausted, worried, and unclear about the future. At the time we were trying to gear up for a restless summer as we prepared for an uncertain 2020-2021 school year. It was helpful for us both to be with someone who understood the role and, as a result, provided perspective and support.
A year later, as we caught up, we reflected on how proud we both were of our school communities, how amazing it was to think that a whole year had passed, and what great evidence we had of the learning and growth we and our communities had experienced. Neither of us felt that the year had been easy nor perfect, but the consideration of each of our school’s accomplishments was gratifying.
Reflection is a necessary process to be able to recognize the growth resulting from navigating uncertainty. Reflection provides proof that despite challenges, we can learn and grow and often times, come out stronger.
At the beginning of last week, I attended our virtual Grade 1 Tea Party with several other SCS staff. I felt privileged to witness the evidence of our youngest students’ learning and growth. My week concluded with our Grade 6 Graduation E-ssembly, where I noted how much our students have acquired new skills and competencies. In both cases, I thought back to the beginning of the school year and considered just how much learning has occurred. Two events this coming week will provide similar opportunities for reflection: our virtual Closing Ceremonies is a chance for our full school community to conclude the school year together, and our Class of 2021 will be graduating on Saturday.
As we all reflect on the past year, it is my hope that each of us takes some time to celebrate how much we have learned and grown despite the challenges.