Driving into the future with our eyes wide open: The transition from summer to school time

Here’s something I find curious: as the years pass I look forward to the beginning of the school year with greater enthusiasm.

You’ll probably agree that runs counter to what most of us felt when we were much younger and we approached coming back to school with a mix of  anxiety, excitement, fear and wonder. I can’t tell you how many times I hear parents tell me how much they wish they could help their children view September with the same level of enthusiasm they show at the end of the school year!

During the summer I took the opportunity to re-read some inspirational material that helps to form my approach to how we educate our students while preparing them for a lifetime of personal reward. I came upon this quote from Marshall McLuhan who wrote, “Our Age of Anxiety is, in great part, the result of trying to do today’s job with yesterday’s tools and yesterday’s concepts.”

Although he wrote this several decades ago, it strikes me that his observation is entirely relevant today.  McLuhan also commented, “We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror.”

These two comments provided for me a real reaffirmation of what we’re doing here at MacLachlan. For forty years we’ve approached education from the perspective that our children are unique. We embrace the spirit and reality of discovery. Through a powerful commitment to collaboration MacLachlan teachers and students boldly explore opportunities beyond the limits of traditional education. We inspire our students with creative vision that promotes an entrepreneurial, success-driven and future-oriented mindset that is integrated into every aspect of school life.

One Step Ahead of Traditional Education

We made a decision to implement many technological advances well in advance of many other schools. We created and continue to innovate our physical environment to encourage our students to move and adapt. We developed approaches to curriculum and pedagogy that are very much forward looking. In fact, without ignoring lessons of the past, we seldom use our rearview mirrors at MAC.

A core component of our commitment to re-imagine possibilities revolves around a devotion to stay at least one step ahead of where the traditional educational sector lives. It’s why we introduced the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program and why we’ve spent a great deal of time getting our community well-versed in the Round Square program. It’s why we introduced an active mindfulness program at the school and why we’re adopting new, collaborative approaches to multi-disciplinary thinking and programs. And, why we continue to pursue our vision to expand our school campus.

Preparing for September 4

Helping our students and your children navigate their way through the school year is a wonderful opportunity for each of us to re-think how to best guide them. I sometimes think that transitioning from the summer holidays to the classroom is rather like an astronaut reentering earth’s orbit. It’s our job to make sure that the heat shields are up, that all systems are checked and rechecked and that we have the environment prepared for a safe landing.

Shortly, MacLachlan parents will receive a letter from Head of School Michael Piening. In his note he’ll share some of the practical steps to take in preparing for September 4 when the doors of Mac officially re-open. Adding the advice offered by Mr. Piening to our collective commitment to getting the school year off to a welcoming and exciting start promises to deliver a year in which our community will re-imagine possibilities.

I’m excited to welcome everyone back and rejoin our journey to a bright future.

Author: MacLachlan College

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