Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Change, anxiety and hope for the new school year

Retiring school head Lenesa Leana of Belmont Day School in Massachusetts said these words during her Back To School Night Remarks a couple of years ago: "Certainly science is front and center as a force for generating dramatic changes, along with technology and medicine. But it is also clear that the fields of diplomacy and conflict resolution will face mighty challenges as well. In addition, I also think about the arts, about instruments we might never have imagined and the interweaving of technology and the visual arts that are beyond our ken. No wonder as we ponder all these possibilities at once, we can find our hearts beating faster and faster. Such challenges and the possibilities of such change elicit anxiety. What I have learned so keenly over my years in education is that change invariably invokes a sense of loss at some level. Put those two together – anxiety and loss – and it is difficult to focus on excitement and expectation! And we do so need to keep those positive emotions in mind, for it is our responsibility as educators and parents to share a perspective of hope and anticipation with our children. We want them to know that we believe that we will meet these challenges with ingenuity and expertise, with a commitment to do the right thing with focus and excellence."

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