Dear Woods Community,
This is the first in what I understand to be a regular “Guidance Blog.” I’ll take this opportunity to thank you for being so welcoming to me and my family as we’ve joined The Woods family. At this point, I’ve hosted a TED talk discussion and an Upper School virtual coffee, with a Lower School coffee coming up next week. I’ve also had a chance to meet many of you via back to school night Zooms. Just as importantly, I’ve gotten to meet many of your sons and daughters at the in-person orientations. I’m very much looking forward to the time that we can all meet together in person!
I wrote to all of you a little over a week ago with an email that was meant to be both an introduction and an invitation - an invitation to reach out to find a time to talk. As I expressed in that note, it doesn’t need to be a psychological emergency for us to connect. I want to get to know your sons and daughters - and you - as we work together. It’s challenging enough to raise happy and healthy children even in the best of times, let alone with the additional wrinkles that come with pandemic living. So if I can be of help in any way, please do reach out.
Speaking of which… it’s exciting to think that we may be moving towards a hybrid model in the coming weeks. Whether or not you decide to have your children engage in in-person learning just yet, it represents a step closer to us getting back to “normal,” and that’s encouraging. I’ve had a lot of parents ask me for tips about preparing students to come back, either because they worry that their children may be anxious about physically returning to school, or they are concerned that re-acclimation will feel strange after all this time (especially with masks and new rules). Those are both valid concerns without simple answers. That said, we realize that even with all of the thoughtful planning going into this hybrid approach, the early goings may feel a little messy at times as students and teachers get used to the new rhythms of the school day. Transitions are hard for all of us, and this will be a big one. Rest assured that, regardless of whether they stay home or come to campus, your children are in a community where the adults care about them a great deal. We can handle a little messiness and understand that for many students this may be a little hard. With gentleness, respect, and good humor, we will help them, you, and each other as we move forward together. Again, please find me if you think that I can be of help.