As we prepare to enjoy the coming long weekend, we find ourselves in the throes of a classic wet spring – you know, that thing about April showers bringing May flowers and all that? With warmer temperatures right around the corner, the buds will be popping and the bulbs springing into bloom. It’s a hope-filled sign at the end of a chronic Canadian winter.
There’s that word, hope. It’s a small word and used by many people every day. However, properly understood, it is a word with a big and vital meaning and one that cherishes a desire with anticipation that some long-awaited good thing will happen. Parents, teachers, and students alike understand that each school year counts on hope – big time!
While spring is often looked upon as the season of hope and new beginnings, in schools – especially in elementary ones – September is “king of hope”. I remember at the end of every summer feeling excitement and hope at the thought of a fresh new year. As you gathered your supplies and re-connected with friends, the anticipation of a new year, no mistakes, all homework completed (!) and endless possibilities made you feel a bit lightheaded (…in a good way!).
We certainly have things left to accomplish this school year, but we already have one foot firmly planted in September 2022. Part of this state-of-being is an ever present desire to be looking forward to how our school can prepare our students even better for the path that lies ahead. To really understand this goal, it is essential to think deeply about what will be most important for our children, not just now, but into the future.
A lot of recent effort has been focused on addressing the pressing need to improve where our students and teachers learn. We are continuing this important work with the completion of our exciting new Early Primary Learning Centre (EPLC). It goes without saying that this work has been vitally important to the Matthews Hall of the present and the future. But, there is something more for us to do as we emerge from the collective isolation of the past two challenging years. We need to explore and test our mission and vision for Matthews Hall – the next generation!
As we accompany the students through the spring, our school will begin the important work of developing and refining the mission and vision that is the lifeblood of any independent school.
From time to time, such values must be reflected upon to ensure relevance, accountability, and an understanding about why a school exists in the first place.
This spring, we will be planning a “Mission Day” to probe and propose around these important guiding principles in an effort to articulate the how and why Matthews Hall will continue to be the school of choice for children in our city.
It will be a process of input, collaboration, aspiration and hope! You might say that it will be a chance to cherish the desire with anticipation that some long-awaited and good thing will happen for our students and the school of their future!
As the saying goes, hope springs eternal – even on a soggy playground!
Ric Anderson, Head of School