This week has not been easy. Joyous at times, yes. Dozens of moments where I am filled to the brim with gratitude, yes. Easy, not so much.
As we continue to navigate our way through a pandemic, we are met with the challenges of finding subs for teachers with the sniffles, or having to ask families to come and pick up their children and their siblings for minor symptoms. And, we found out today that our parent volunteer from picture day was confirmed positive with a PCR test. This was a “breakthrough” case and their symptoms are mild. Grateful, yes. Easy, no.
We are all in this together and need to continue to stay vigilant as we navigate these strange days of seeing so many behave as if the pandemic is over when it is clearly not over. Our community of parents and staff have blown me away, time and again, with how cautious, informed, and flexible they are. Grateful. yes. Easy, no.
This week we have relied on several parent volunteers (all vaccinated) to sub in the classrooms for teachers that were home with sniffles, or with their own child. So many of our parents stepped in, said “yes,” and rescheduled their day to help out. They helped with children in the classroom, served lunches, cleaned up messes, and supervised recess. They are/were AMAZING. Grateful, yes. Easy, no.
Staff have covered for their colleagues, restructured their days, pivoted our lunch menu (Pizza day!), oriented volunteers, came in early, stayed late, found child care, got COVID tested for sniffles and headaches, and yet maintained a joyous and safe learning environment. Grateful, yes. Easy, no.
One day, in between supporting short-staffed classrooms, meetings and emails, I popped into the kitchen to borrow a pen. Behind a pen holder up against the wall, I saw something taped up. It was our mission statement. Audrey, our talented chef, had taped The New School Montessori mission statement to the wall to remind her of the value of her work. The value of all of our work. The value of our community. I paused, took the time to read it. It centered me. Grounded me. It reminded me that this moment, this school, this community is extraordinary. How we pull together to help each other out. How it is the moments that aren’t easy that provide the opportunities for the deepest gratitude. Thank you.
“The New School Montessori is an independent Montessori educational center. Our mission is to foster the development of the whole child by providing an intellectually rich and challenging curriculum in a safe, caring and joyous environment. All our activities are carried out in an atmosphere of respect for the child and respect for one another. We strive to promote academic excellence, individuality, interdependence, imagination, creativity, inner discipline and self-esteem. We welcome and honor cultural, ethnic, religious and economic diversity and we are committed to teaching peace, conflict resolution and global awareness. Parental involvement is important in all aspects of the school’s operations; thus, we work to cultivate a genuine sense of extended family and community.”