The New Normal

In times of uncertainty and fear, it is our human connections that uplift us. It is our routines that keep us grounded. It is our knowledge that our children are in school all day with caring and inspiring professional educators that bring us a sense of security.

In these trying times of a worldwide public health crisis, these safety nets are being taken from us, and we are left to navigate these unchartered waters more isolated and more uncertain than before.

I imagine there are a lot of feelings among us all about this turn of events - apprehension, overwhelm, confusion, fear, concern, wonder about how the heck we’re going to do this? And these feelings are mixed in with all kinds of other worries about coronavirus in general: your health, your family and loved ones at higher risk, the economy, and whether you have enough essential supplies. If you’re feeling anxious, you’re not alone. It’s normal, it’s ok, and we are all here for each other.

Our school is moving to remote learning and this will be very different from regular school days and it will take time to master well – for our students, for our teachers and for you. With your kids at home, you are also working hard to stay on top of work, to keep your family healthy, and to strike a new balance in this new normal that is anything but normal. At school, we are trying to approach all of this with the spirit of a learner and adventurer, and we are open to doing things differently. In multiple conversations with teachers, as I’ve asked them about how their thinking and planning is going for remote learning, invariably the answer is something along the lines of “Pretty good. I’m not entirely sure yet how it’s all going to work, but we’re figuring it out.”

“Yet” – that is the magic word in that sentence that reflects a growth mindset and a willingness to learn. As we roll this all out, it will be new for all of us and imperfect, no doubt, but we will get much better at this as time goes on. We are grateful for your partnership in this unknown endeavor.

I took great comfort and value from this article This Can Be Our Finest Hour. The author is a licensed psychologist and a trauma survivor who has worked for twenty-five years with the complex issues of trauma, integration, and behavior change across every level, from individuals to groups to large systems and countries.

In her final paragraph, she writes “Imagine if we could make our response to this crisis our finest hour. Imagine if a year or two from now we looked back on this and told the stories of how we came together as a team in our community, in our state, in our nation, and across the world. Your contribution to the finest hour may seem small, invisible, inconsequential—but every small act of ‘not doing’ what you were going to do, and ‘doing’ an act of kindness or support will add up exponentially.”

I am sending virtual smiles and high fives to all your children and all of you. We will be in constant touch throughout this extended absence and we will be in the spirit of learners and adventurers together.

With much gratitude and respect,

Head of School