'What if these kids are ahead?'

It was such a joy to see parents last Friday as they did their drive-through to pick up resources for their children. There were lots of happy faces and much hilarity with comments about ‘where is the takeaway coffee?’ as they drove past. We were also so pleased to receive many returned library books. On that note, you will have received a notification about library borrowing that commences this week. Keeping the joy of reading alive during this time is a priority for us and our sensational library team have organised a system to allow you to access the library collection. On the Announcements tab on your child’s Canvas page, you will find the library catalogue and a borrow request form which is due on Tuesdays by 5.00pm. You will then be able to pick up the books at an organised time on Thursdays at the turn around carpark. Happy borrowing and we look forward to seeing your smiling faces again in the carpark!

I know there can be a level of anxiety and sometimes frustration as you juggle supporting your children with their online learning, and this is often combined with trying to work from home yourself. Additionally, you may worry that the children will be behind when we return to school. John Hattie, Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, reminded us in a recent article that when the earthquakes occurred in Christchurch, schools closed for a term. There was no online program provided. Students results did not regress when they returned to school and, in fact, many improved. So if for some reason the conference call or video isn’t downloading on a particular day, take comfort from Professor Hattie’s wise observations and remember in the big picture it is all going to be okay.

To finish up, I hope you enjoy this reflection from the blog Altogether Mostly by Jamie Ragsdale, which discusses the potential effect of this time on our children.

What if instead of being behind these kids are ahead?

What if they have more empathy, they enjoy family connection, they can be more creative and entertain themselves, they love to read, they love to express themselves in writing.

What if they enjoy the simple things, like their own backyard and sitting near a window in the quiet. What if they notice the birds and the dates the different flowers emerge, and the calming renewal of a gentle rain shower?

What if this generation is the ones to learn to cook, organize their space, do their laundry, and keep a well-run home?

What if they learn to stretch a dollar and to live with less? What if they learn to plan shopping trips and meals at home.

What if they learn the difference between want and need?

What if they learn the value of eating together as a family and finding the good to share in the small delights of the everyday?

What if they are the ones to place great value on our teachers and educational professionals, librarians, public servants and the previously invisible essential support workers like truck drivers, grocers, cashiers, custodians, logistics, and health care workers and their supporting staff, just to name a few of the millions taking care of us right now while we are sheltered in place?

What if among these children, a great leader emerges who had the benefit of a slower pace and a simpler life. What is he or she truly learn what really matters in this life?

What if they are ahead?

– Jamie Ragsdale

Take care.

Libby Russell
Head of Junior School Kew