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Reflections on a New Year

It feels time. It feels time to revisit the Puddle Jumping blog and move forward from the excuse that life in a pandemic gives us to put aside old priorities. There is so much to review and reflect as we turn the calendar to a new year and yet find ourselves still experiencing life as upended and unfamiliar. It is now time to put the “holds” that a pandemic placed on daily activities aside and instead reinvent daily life activities -knowing that they will be dictated by disruption and change. I will start with a new set of blog posts for 2022 that provide context to the shifts our new reality brings to the school experience.

Schools have undergone so much disruption and change since March of 2020. Much has been written about the importance of keeping students in school. The benefits of in-person learning have never been clearer. (I am not sure that, from the perspective of preschool and elementary school, being in the physical classroom would ever have been disputed!) How have independent schools, who have the incredible resources to stay open during these challenging times, adjusted to huge changes to daily instruction and managed to keep institutional goals intact? This question will be the focus of future posts.

I was reading an article by blogger J. Ross Peters about finding clarity within complexity. That is surely what we are attempting to do every day, even as we find ourselves in more and more complex surroundings. In his analogy, the cockpit of a plane trying to fly and land in the face of rough air and foggy conditions is like an organization who is seeking clarity and making decisions during these adverse times. The blinding fog we often face may make the idea of landing seem impossible. And yet, planes land safely every day. They rely on the institution’s mission and strategy to determine direction, in Peter’s view. We have to trust and believe in the institution in order to stay the correct course. Leadership controls altitude. As stated in the article, “Leadership makes the decisions large and small that provide the corrections to ensure that the turbulence and low visibility that can accompany progress don’t prevent a smooth landing.” Our independent school leaders need to have their hands on the controls at all times. Finally, our community of parents, teachers, and students determine the speed at which we are moving towards our destination. You help us determine how fast we move by showing us your tolerance for change and need for stability. 

J Ross Peter’s Article

I am not anticipating anything but a smooth landing to this somewhat turbulent school year. We will make sure to have our service carts full of what all learners need and our on-board entertainment thought provoking. Buckle up for this next leg of the journey forward.  

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