“Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there's another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.” – Adam Grant
A year ago, as my family and I settled into our March Break vacation, I overheard from a fellow traveller that Ontario was planning to close schools because of the health pandemic. It was at that moment that I realized I needed to rethink everything I knew about school. Ten days later, with the extraordinary effort of my colleagues and the support of our Board of Governors, Crescent School made history. We closed our physical campus and opened a virtual one.
“You must retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties. AND at the same time, you must confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” – James Stockdale
As we prepared for our February 16 re-opening following the provincial school shutdown, I couldn't help but feel a profound sense of déjà vu. Many of my emotions were identical to how I felt last September. I was excited to welcome the students and staff back on campus. I was confident in the steps we had taken to ensure our community's safety. And I was proud of our collective determination to get us to that point. What feels different this time is an acceptance that so much of our current reality is beyond our control. It’s our ability to face this uncertainty that allows us to be resilient.
If hope is not alive, there is no stimulation for planning; but if there is no planning, there is no realistic hope.
- Jürgen Moltmann
There are many challenges we face when living through a crisis. One such challenge stems from a myopic approach to the future. Understandably, we become laser-focused on our short-term needs – the things we must do right now to manage our current situation. As a result, it’s easy to lose sight of long-term plans – even when those plans give us hope for the future. That is why I am particularly grateful for the strategic planning process we undertook last year. It’s important work that will shape the future of Crescent School.