As a leadership team, we have reminded ourselves repeatedly that we are educating during a state of emergency. We are designing lessons for students who are living in a state of emergency. We are assessing learning during a state of emergency. We will be issuing learning reports to students who have been learning during a state of emergency. We are partnering with parents who have been parenting during a state of emergency. As a leadership team, we have given each other permission to remind ourselves of this over and over again. We do this to counter another story that we hear repeatedly, a story that cites, “This is the new normal.” While there will eventually be a new normal, our current state of emergency is not normal.
As governments do during a state of emergency, they define essential services. Simultaneously, resources are shifted to the essential while diverted away from those areas deemed non-essential. We have made similar decisions at Surrey Christian School. Every time we remind ourselves that we are Educating for Wholeness during a state of emergency, we ask ourselves the question “What is essential?” And, it has become clear to us that our Educating for Wholeness essential services are grounded in the principles of care, connect, and purpose.
Our longing to belong and to be in relationship only grows while social distancing during a state of emergency
We want our families to feel cared for by the school. We want our staff to feel cared for by our leadership team. We want our students to feel cared for by their teachers. We know that care provides the foundation by which we can accomplish all the other things we want to do. Care is essential.
As our families, students and staff continue to receive the appropriate medical message to distance, we continuously seek new ways for us to connect. Our longing to belong and to be in relationship only grows while social distancing during a state of emergency. Connecting is essential.
Finally, we want our work to be grounded in purpose. Our teachers continue to come together every week to deepen their skills at designing learning experiences for students that have purpose. We fully accept that we can not cover everything during this time, so, we ask ourselves what is essential to teach? We continue to seek feedback that gives our work, and the learning of our students, more and more purpose. Purpose is essential.
Care. Connect. Purpose.
We hope that these three principles do not feel new to you as a Surrey Christian School family as they have always been essential to us. Like you, I long for the day when we are no longer living in a state of emergency. However, I am beginning to find myself, both personally and professionally, naming the essentials that I want to be foundational to my new normal.
Director of Learning