If you are reading this, I am confident of one thing: You made it through the pandemic. When March 2020 rolled around and our world turned upside-down, “making it through” became our default, and let’s face it, we were in survival mode. Once we were allowed to peek out of our bunkers and then get within two yards of others and then eventually drop our masks, our aim was on returning to the basics, reconnecting what was severed, filling in gaps. Accepting COVID’s impact on schools kept us focused on “learning loss” and stunted social/emotional development. After the Great Shutdown and virtual learning and hybrid instruction and the restrictions of health mitigations, it’s time to move beyond simply surviving and time to get serious about thriving!
As Carrollton Elementary School celebrates its thirtieth anniversary, I can think of no better time than now to make thriving our chief aspiration. Thriving requires desire and struggle and support, and these are what we will be about as we cap off our third decade of positively impacting students and their families. I will motivate my staff to reflect on the desire that propelled them into education so they can, in turn, inspire their students to desire to learn. I fully recognize that growing and thriving require struggle and I’ll encourage my staff to let students work it out, sweat a little, push harder because this is how a person appreciates what he achieves and truly understands what she has learned. As far as support, since the doors opened in the fall 1993, Carrollton Elementary has been a place full of dedicated professionals intent on providing instructional, social, emotional, and behavioral supports for all members of our Cardinal community and that tradition will continue.
I remember turning 30 and wondering, “now what?” Little did I know then that some of the best was still ahead of me: getting married, having children, joining IWCS and becoming a Cardinal! It’s my hope that we as a country, community, and a school have moved well beyond the pandemic’s shadow where surviving was the goal and that we are well on our way to brighter days, deeper learning, stronger community, and the joy of thriving!
Robert D. Brennan