If this past year has taught us anything, it is that our ideal of perfection can be quickly and ever-so unapologetically swept from beneath us. Last year at this time, I had selected Focus as my #oneword 2020 with the intent of tightening my focus both personally and professionally. From a school lens, I was feeling that finally in our third year as a new school we were able to shift, if ever so slightly, from the logistics of our growing population and the challenges associated with that, to a focus on the work of goal setting. Plans were falling into beautiful alignment with early literacy interventions and numeracy diagnostics. Our intermediate students were trained to work as reading coaches with our grade one learners and our kindergarten students were embracing counting principles and singing subitizing songs as they ventured down the hallway. January brought a flurry of learning activities despite the political unrest of job action. Yet, even through those days, our staff continued to focus on their students, each other and our goals. And then, the unthinkable and inconceivable happened ~ news of a virus invading Asia had made its way to our backyard and we were to enter a lockdown. Our focus swiftly shifted from goal setting to Google and as they say, the rest is history. I often wonder how the COVID-19 pandemic will be documented for future generations and the long term impact which we have no way of anticipating at this time, as we are still in the epicenter of it.
On the eve of 2021, when others make resolutions, promises and proposals, I select #oneword which hopefully provides guidance throughout the year and reminders of what I’m feeling on this special evening. This year, after much soul-searching, I’ve chosen Grace as my word.
Regardless of what lies ahead may I show Grace to all of those with whom I have the gift of their friendship and love. This past year we were gifted with a window into the lives (both literally and figuratively) of so many people. Zooming from our home into the homes of others, supporting friends as they found the loneliness of lockdown unbearable and reassuring our colleagues that they are doing a tremendous job under the most bizarre and unimaginable circumstances. With no immediate end in sight to these windows, it is more important than ever that we demonstrate kindness, charity and leniency (Grace) as we sustain others.
There is no playbook for a pandemic. And we’re not building an airplane in the sky ~ because with an airplane we know that somewhere there are blueprints and we know what the end product is supposed to resemble. We have no idea how this is going to end. Which in and of itself provides a freedom from the restraints of trying to get it perfect.
So, I freely absolve myself of the notion of working towards perfection and instead endeavor to lead with, love with and fill my days laughing with Grace!
Happy 2021 to All