06 Apr Message from the Head of School April 6th
Dear Faithful Families of TCS,
The news is rife with concerns about the coming days and weeks as the virus peaks in many areas, probably including Nashville. Certainty is low and confidence is low for a quick end to this. I find myself a little more anxious than usual – a little more on edge – when I stop to consider the reality of what these next two weeks will bring to many families. But I know that my anxiety rears its head only when I envision the future without God. I have a dear friend (and TCS mom) who texts me every morning. Her texts are passages from the Psalms, which she takes the time to type into her phone with great faithfulness. And this reminds me every day that there is no such future without God. His faithfulness is undeniable. His mercies are always fresh. His care for us is proven. And, especially in the next several weeks, we all need to be speaking truth to one another. I wish everyone had a friend like mine.
I attended a webinar recently called “Parenting in a Time of Crisis.” Perhaps some of you were among the participants, as I promoted it in an email last week. The psychologists who hosted the meeting, Rob Evans and Michael Thompson, noted that children have very strong psychological defenses, which is part of what makes them so emotionally resilient. They have an innate curiosity and a desire to “figure things out” and to be part of the solution Even if children are prone to being anxious or depressed, it doesn’t mean they will become so in this situation. Both psychologists strongly recommended that we purposely not see our children as fragile but rather see them in all their strengths.
Children need our help to understand what’s happening in our world. This experience is profoundly disruptive to all our lives, but we are positioned to experience it together, as a family. So much of what actually traumatizes children and adults are events that are experienced alone. Parents have experiences in work, in marriage, in their personal lives that are hard for them, but their children do not experience those events. Children have experiences in school, in childhood relationships, in their “personal lives” that are hard for them, but their parents do not experience those events. However, in this time of COVID-19 and distance learning and distance working, we are experiencing it all together. This is a highly unique and rare occurrence, and I think we should take advantage of it. Children want to figure this out .They want to be full-fledged members of the family who have roles that allow them to be part of what helps the family to work well. Their contributions may be highly creative and therefore highly impractical, but we should draw them into that process nonetheless.
These ideas are just some of what we’ll be talking tomorrow over coffee with any who would like to attend. We’ll meet on Zoom at 12:30 and finish up before 1:30. You can come and go within that hour as you need – no worries. Just shoot me an email so I can get the Zoom code to you.
We look forward to getting your feedback again soon via a much shorter survey that I’ll send out on Wednesday. I am amazed that teachers have been able to be so creative and steady, even as they were still getting their sea legs that first week. I love the way you parents, most of whom are working from home, and have never taught before, are nevertheless taking on this challenge and enjoying new insights into your children as learners. We have been stretched beyond all expectation, yet importantly, it is when stretching brings us to the end of ourselves that we find God – loving, protecting, challenging, giving courage.
I hope that during this holy week we can each reach out to encourage one other person either inside or outside of our community in a way that pleases the only One who matters.
Peace to you,