2020! What a crazy year we have endured! No one would ever have seen it coming?!
It has been a time of such change for all of us and as the year draws to a close it is time for us to pause, reflect and think about what we have learnt from this year.
As a school and place of education, despite having successfully rolled out remote learning, 2020 has re-confirmed what we already know as Montessori educators…. that relationships are key to education. That actually being able to physically sit with, and by the side of our students, helping them, guiding them, teaching them and supporting them makes the world of difference compared to delivering curriculum online with limited and stilted individual interaction.
Covid-19 has taught us that relationships and connection to others is so important, and without it our world and life isn’t as purposeful. We’ve learnt that it’s so much harder to develop a sense of community when we can’t physically be together. We’ve learnt how to creatively maintain those connections and spend time together to strengthen our bonds. However, we all agree that ‘Zoom’ is not a permanent replacement for face to face contact and connection.
Coronavirus has made us view our health and well being differently. It’s made us stop and think about others more so, particularly when it comes to infecting others when we ourselves are not feeling well. So often in the past we just kept going, we would head off to work, send children to school when they or us may not be feeling well. Coronavirus has made us re-think this and think about others, particularly showing more care and concern for vulnerable friends, family members and colleagues.
2020 has heightened how important mental health is and how we cope with our fears, anxiety, change and uncertainty. It has highlighted how important the skills and qualities of resilience, flexibility, adaptability and creativity are in an uncertain and changing world.
As a leader, these uncertain times have emphasised how important communication is and that new and inventive ways to communicate clear messages are helpful and necessary. Being decisive is crucial however highly challenging in an ever changing environment where the rules and boundaries are forever changing! Having empathy, showing care, support and kindness are key to developing trust and team spirit amongst staff during a crisis. Finding ways of having fun and laughing together as a staff through tough times also builds camaraderie and solidarity.
2020 has reaffirmed what I already knew…. What an amazing staff team I have the honour of leading. I can’t begin to thank our staff enough for what has been one of the most challenging years in our professional lives.
I am so proud of them and I thank them for their dedication, loyalty, hard work, creativity and openness to new learning. What a team!
I also need to acknowledge the amazing support, understanding and encouragement we have received from our parents and families throughout the year. We have all been in this together and it’s been hard for everyone. But let’s hope that we are coming out the other side and we are a little wiser, kinder and more mindful for having gone through this experience together. 2020 is a year that none of us will ever forget.