“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
– Ephesians 4:2
The term draws to a close and we are grateful for all that’s been achieved while lamenting what we missed. We appreciate the partnership between school and home, remembering that education has always been a three-cornered process involving school, student, and home.
Life is more complex than it appears. This complexity has, through remote learning, been brought to the surface. We are all now more fully aware of the complexity of life for staff, students, and parents. Not only that, but we are, I hope, more grateful for the role of others in the work, that together we do, in educating the next generation.
There has been talk and worry about “learning loss”. While on the surface there may be learning loss, it is not as significant as some imagine. My suspicion is that the deeper loss will have been relational. This term of remote learning has made it harder to undertake a key part of friendship, “being seen”, as the poet David Whyte writes.
“The ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor of the self, the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.”
When we return to school in Term 4, we will be concerned with recovering any loss in learning. But we will also be concerned with recovering loss in relationship and providing the opportunity for students to “be seen”. Our energies will be directed to the realm of friendships and in-person human interaction, as well as to learning.
We know and have always known that education is relational and deeply human. Through remote learning we have sought to maintain this by connection, continuity, and community. And yet education is made richer and more valuable in person.
And in the words of Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, “Rub your eyes and purify your heart — and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well.”