Nancy Lang | September 21 | Cougar Chronicle

Dear New School Community,

As I navigate this crazy time as a school leader, parent, partner, and friend, I am reminded over and over again that a humanized approach in our decision making is paramount. I empathize with you - eager to see metrics that show that our children are learning and making academic progress, concerned about the balance of physical and emotional safety for our students and our teachers, hurting for people who are suffering great loss and hardship, sad for the things our children and our community are missing, and hopeful we will come out of this time stronger and more grounded. 

We are riding the “corona-coaster,” but we are hitting the highs and lows and twists and turns at different times. It’s the humanized approach that allows us to notice and care for each other, especially because we are rarely in the same mindspace at the same time. This is tough on kids. This is tough on teachers. This is tough on parents. But all in different ways. No one has all the answers, but I do know that the strength of a community that pulls together is incredibly powerful.

If your child is feeling stressed, worried, and overwhelmed, what do you hope they do? Do you want them to hunker down, pretend they’re ok, and try to figure everything out on their own? Do you hope they bring every single problem to you to solve? The answers are obviously dependent on their age, but I would guess the answer is a balance. We want them to learn how to be independent, but not to the extent that they isolate. We want them to come to us, their adults, for support but not to solve all of their problems. Why, then, would we do anything other than model this behavior? Let’s lean into building this community together. I invite you to take these three steps:

  1. You’ve been hearing a lot from me about how we’re doing. It’s time for us to hear from you. Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey by 5:00pm Wednesday, September 23rd.
  2. Consider sending a message to your child(ren)’s teacher(s) or advisor(s) sometime in the next two weeks. Tell them something you want them to know about your child. Don’t ask for anything. Don’t make suggestions. Just tell them something about your child. They’ll do something good with that information.
  3. Consider one thing you could do to positively impact another TNS family - send a note welcoming a new family in your child’s class, call or text someone you would typically see on campus and ask how they’re doing, plan a birthday parade (remember those?) for a friend … I’m sure you can be creative!

Nancy Lang

Head of School

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