Stronger Together: Persevering As An Episcopal Community
To thrive in the present moment has never been more important than it is right now. As I lead Heathwood’s Middle School from my dining room table, missing my students, wishing for in-person interaction with the faculty, and longing for my campus, it is clear to me that our community is stronger because we are an Episcopal school. God is with us.
Living a communal life together is one of the main tenets of an Episcopal school. This virus, while it has changed how we come together, has not changed our desire or ability to stay connected - to be in community. Space does not divide our relationships. It simply changes the approach and calls on us to be more flexible and more determined.
At Heathwood, we walk alongside our students as they experience their unique journeys. We encourage that sacred story of each individual, helping to make meaning of that story. This virus has helped us to more clearly articulate the stories, the journeys.
Our students want to be loved, valued, recognized, and acknowledged. We all long for worth. Those needs do not change just because we are not on campus together. Our goal at Heathwood has always been to develop intelligent, bright, motivated young people who are infused with kind character, determined to work hard, seek truth, and do so without conceit. Life is not always about winning, being the best, or always being first. It is about a life well-lived. This virus is helping us to define how to better live well.
None of this is easy. Being thoughtful about experiences for different age groups that are simultaneously academic, enjoyable, challenging, and purposeful offers us a unique opportunity to reflect on what we have done and be more intentional as we move forward. We are discovering new ways to make learning more relevant and meaningful and we use any and all platforms to reach our students and families: notes, thoughts, prayers, phone calls, screens, videos, meets, and emails.
As we look for silver linings and opportunities to seek moments of gratitude, this pandemic gives the adults a newfound sense of purpose - to strengthen our connection with our students. That is where the true learning happens.
We have faith that we will reunite at South Beltline. Heathwood models for our students what it means to walk in faith as an extension of our intellectual curiosity. It allows for creativity. It demands vision, strategy, stamina, and hard work. It demands time for things to evolve and to become what they will be. We will do that together as teachers, students, and families of Heathwood Hall Episcopal School.