Last spring, I wrote a blog entry about our COVID-19 adventure being a marathon, not a sprint. Admittedly, at the time, I was thinking about reaching the end of the 2019-2020 academic year rather than it extending into the year ahead.
That being said, as a sports enthusiast, I have continued to frame things for myself within a sporting context.
Never has it been more important as we head into this long game to have a strong team and enthusiastic supporters.
While we don’t know the length of this ‘game,’ we do know that it has required- and will continue to require- huge preparation, ongoing training, and the ability to shift when the play changes. Our team- St. Clement’s School- is training hard, working on its skills, adjusting facilities, and constantly referring to the dynamic playbook to prepare.
While this preparation has required a different focus, it doesn’t mean we should waver from our mission, our approach to learning, and our strong sense of community. St. Clement’s continues to ensure that academic rigour in a supportive environment is front of mind. While we need to hone our skills and plays, and understand our challenger to the best of our ability, we also need to remind ourselves of the great work and practice we have done over the years. We must give ourselves permission to try new things, and shift if need be.
Our team is supported by the best fans there are – a community who understands our team’s history, mission, and purpose. Like any big game, however, there can be a worry about how the team will do. When the challenge is unfamiliar, expressions of trust, patience, and confidence serve to bolster the team.
Good coaching is also essential. As a school, we must support our staff; as parents, successfully coaching your daughters will assist as well. The art of coaching is far less about telling others what to do or running the plays for them, but, rather, providing the skills for them to adapt, be flexible, and to understand that perfection is not expected. As coaches, we must be honest about the road ahead while supporting our players, and not promise seamlessness but, rather, support.
I have no doubt that we will get through this unique long game. It will not be easy and there will be ups and downs, but I know that we have the capacity to take up the challenge.
Thank you to our St. Clement’s School community for being a part of such a strong team. Thank you, in advance, for your trust, patience, and confidence as we head into the arena.