July 2, 2021
n a normal, non-COVID year, one of the most pleasant parts of April, May and June is watching children play their spring sports. The days get longer, homework winds down and the mosquitos haven’t quite organized their attack yet. Spring over spring watching soccer,football lacrosse and baseball, you see the children develop so many different skills. They start out small, picking dandelions and spinning around goalposts. Slowly but surely, they start working together. Plays are made, runs and goals are scored…they understand the benefits of working as a team.
The absence of team sports for children has been one of the many challenges of the pandemic. It will be good to be back in the game, literally and figuratively, in the months to come. Still, learning to work as part of a team comes in many different forms. Children are very observant, they see evidence of teamwork in many areas: families work together to do chores,
students collaborate on projects, neighbours help each other with renovations, etc. As children watch, they begin to follow these examples and learn the skills of teamwork along the way.
One of the best models of teamwork can be found in the classrooms and hallways of our school. Our school staff has always been an amazing team, but never has this been more evident than over the last 16 months. Our staff is well balanced, including a number of seasoned players, with some young talent in the mix. We usually know the game plan and can execute it seamlessly. This year things were different, to say the least. Just when we thought we had an understanding of how to play the game, there were changes to the rules. Not once, not twice…you know what it has been like! Over and over again, staff members stepped up and stepped in wherever they were needed. Through all of the “pivoting” the staff kept their resolve, their sense of humour and their sense of direction.
Of course, the students are a huge part of the team. They faced many changes, challenges and disappointments this year with nary a complaint. Their smiling faces, even behind masks, made the days brighter. Joy and laughter were in the building. They showed everyone how to adapt, to persevere and even to flourish in strange new situations.
I can’t underestimate the role that parents have played this year, either. You were our biggest cheerleaders, throwing your support behind us as we battled forward. Then, suddenly, you were called into the game yourselves, helping your children through a second spring of remote learning. Your flexibility and patience helped us immensely, allowing us to continue with our game plan.
Teams need to feel connected to a common purpose. After all is said and done, the goal this year was still the same: providing a safe, secure environment for our children to grow academically, emotionally and spiritually. As we head into a very well deserved off-season, our school team – staff, parents and students – should feel proud of all that has been accomplished this year. We have certainly left it all on the field!