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Post-Pandemic Reflection

Pearls of Wisdom
By Nicholas Kolentse
Post-Pandemic Reflection

For over 30 years international school leaders, teachers, and counselors have come together for Principals’ Training Center (PTC) professional learning experiences. Each day of every program begins with a “pearl of wisdom,” a “nugget of knowledge,” or a “gem of inspiration” from one of the participants. We are delighted to offer our readers around the world these powerful stories, insights, and strategies, all dedicated to our shared mission of ever more and better learning for our children.  

In this Pearl, Nicholas says, “it’s clear we need to ask those deep questions about whether the learning communities and learning environments our students need today are the same ones school offered them in the pre-pandemic era.” He asks us to sense the opportunity at hand rather than getting back to our normal and cautions us not to move back to a normal that might not have served our students in the first place.

So, how can we move forward from a crisis, from surviving to thriving? We must reflect on our purpose, value, and collective wellbeing. Nicholas says it’s time to ask the following questions: “What is sacred in our learning communities? What really is learning? Where is the power centered in our schools? What voices are unheard? Are we all okay? Are we connected? Most importantly, what comes next?”

As we move ahead, we have the opportunity to create a new normal that best serves the interests and needs of our diverse learning communities.

Professional positions cited were the ones held at the time of recording. The positions and schools of those quoted may have since changed.

Nicholas Kolentse is the secondary vice principal at the Canadian International School, Singapore.

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