All In: With Kindness, Compassion and a Gentle Approach
I get a lot of emails. Hundreds on most days and sometimes, two or three times that many. Some of them are logistical; some are informational; and others are personal. Many messages come and go out of my email box, but some stick with me and change the way I view a situation or relate to others. These are the messages that really matter.
A few weeks ago, I shared an email in my Superintendent’s Blog that a teacher had written during the second week of our closure. As we now enter our sixth week of (what is this? I don’t really have a word for it) a new extraordinary reality, I hang on to this teacher’s message. Phrases in the message that stick with me are:
“assuming the best of intentions … extending grace without judgment … being flexible and realistic”
These phrases helped me realize that how we respond to one another now will become the foundation of how we relate to one another when we return to our school buildings, when we are once again speaking face to face and working side by side.
As we persevere through this new normal, it is imperative to recognize that some members of our MCPS family are facing severe hardships. Some have lost loved ones; some have lost jobs; some are on the front lines fighting this pandemic; and all of us are adjusting to changes in daily routines. All of us are being asked to do our part to lessen the severity this illness is inflicting on our community.
Recently, a parent shared an email message describing what she hopes her children will experience educationally during this time. She hopes her children will have “opportunities to connect and talk to teachers, hear from them, attend interesting and engaging video lessons that are not just worksheet reviews, ask questions through email and office hours, and all work together to get through this with kindness, compassion, and a gentle approach to everything.”
“with kindness, compassion, and a gentle approach to everything”
I now have these phrases cemented together in my mind: assuming the best of intentions…extending grace without judgment…being flexible and realistic…with kindness, compassion, and a gentle approach to everything. What a great way to approach each person, each day as we move forward.
We are all in this together.
Please take a few minutes to listen to the following messages of hope, encouragement and practical advice.
Message from Board of Education President Shebra Evans
Message from Board of Education Vice President Brenda Wolff
Message from Board of Education Member Patricia O’Neill