The sudden shift to Online Connected Learning requires every school to look again at the curriculum. We are reminded that we can’t teach it all. I have read countless pieces in recent weeks about how this pandemic is compelling particular intentionality in teaching.
At GCE we have drawn back requirements to the core and foreign language. We will still encourage students to participate in physical activity and wellness practices, including cooking, mindfulness, and good hygiene. We will create opportunities for students to engage in art, exercising creativity and relieving anxiety. We will continue to require expressions of care and service through civic engagement, for which we will develop a dynamic list of opportunities safely done at home, serving those outside and inside our school community. We will honor the trusting relationships we have developed while in the building through advising, one-on-one meetings, office hours, and other forums. We will create opportunities for students to express, develop, and challenge their own emerging passions. And, as we always have, we will invite community members to engage with students in the context of coursework and outside of it, exposing us to new ideas, occupations and preoccupations, and ways of working through field experiences and other special events.
Though we have made some shifts, I am heartened that at GCE we have consistently recognized — even before now — that syllabus construction is an exercise in editing. It has never been the task of good educators to fill students with knowledge. Rather, it is our job to raise provocative questions, direct students to compelling resources, and occasion practice of worthy skills in the context of trusting relationships. GCE was founded with attention to learning that might be most important for our students’ generation. This attention is the reason we refer so consistently to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
These days we are all concerned about Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks
As I shared with students yesterday, I am proud that at GCE we recognize that the present situation — in every way disruptive of our previous routines — does not trivialize the work of school. In fact, this public health circumstance, like the concerns raised by the SDGs, provide the imperative for our learning.
We are in school today so that we can be agents rather than victims in this rapidly changing world, equipped with knowledge, maturity, and wherewithal to contribute to wellbeing of our communities local and global.
All year, La Boulangerie Bakery and Cafe has contributed fresh bread and pastries to the GCE meal program. With the suspension of school after March 13, we have no longer required their donations.
I am glad to share that they have quickly found a new way to contribute to those in need. Tuesday-Sunday, at 3:00pm, on a first-come first-served basis, La Boulangerie is giving away 20 free baguettes and additional products to medical workers and to restaurant workers whose hours have been reduced.
We are grateful for the generosity of the team at La Boulangerie!
Head of School