Gray Matters, September 2021

New Beginnings

True confession, I won’t sleep well Tuesday night. I never do on the eve of the first day of school. I am always too excited for the start of the year. Even as I begin my 27th year as an educator, I still very much feel the energy and enthusiasm that comes with this annual new beginning. 

After all these years I still thrive off the regular rhythms and patterns of school. Much of what made the past 18 months difficult for me is that we were unmoored from many of these anchors. I believe that Capitol Hill Day School’s most important rhythms and patterns center on connection and relationship. Collaborative, experiential learning is essential to our mission and philosophy. This is the foundation on which our teaching and learning is built. The past 18 months stressed our foundation.

As we enter this next, still challenging, phase of the pandemic I am confident that this will be a year with much hope for normalcy. Over the past several days, during what we call JumpStart, it was fantastic to have staff back on campus and especially wonderful to engage and collaborate with colleagues in-person. JumpStart was also our time to welcome new colleagues to the Capitol Hill Day School. We are excited to integrate these new educators into our community. 

 

As educators, we are committed to creating a learning environment centered on the themes I articulated earlier in the summer: joy and togetherness, certainty and consistency, and creative and challenging learning. Among many other elements of preparation, time during JumpStart was spent solidifying schedules, reviewing Covid protocols, developing engaging lessons and projects, preparing for field trips, and planning for Buddy Class gatherings. Nothing brings us greater joy than the anticipation of the return of children to school. 

While my continued commitment to our community’s health and wellness keeps me focused (and occasionally up at night, too!) I am excited for the start of the year and a return to the comfort of our School’s rhythms and patterns.