3/20/20 - Can't Touch This!

Written by Chelle Wabrek, Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs
Congratulations on an awesome first week of school!  

My mind has been blown by your ingenuity and energy as you have problem-solved, created and brainstormed to find solutions that serve children. Even the wildlife around campus is trying to find a way to enroll here!
Our community’s commitment to one another and their desire to find ways to positively contribute during this time of crisis is truly humbling. Student Service Board members have begun recording videos of themselves reading picture books that can be accessed at home by parents looking for some enrichment for their young children. 

PE instructors, weight room staff, dance teachers and our mindfulness experts have all created content or “meets” to support the physical wellbeing of our students. Many are working now to create video that we can house in MyLion to allow access to all of us asynchronously..
Each of you have prioritized presence over and over again, combining your care with humor.
Lower School teachers have created an impressive amount of video content, complete with pauses for children to respond, that affords the families of younger children flexibility around their own work schedules. However they still found time to complete individually check in with each student.
You have been working at a frenetic pace and the ideas that you are trading back and forth are tremendous. Teamwork and sharing abound as people hop in and out of meets with each other and their teams.
Were I to begin to share the TREASURE TROVE of brilliant ideas and things to try, the overwhelming number of emails from thankful parents, and the shout outs you are giving to one another, this would be the longest email ever sent (just what you need, another email).
So I want to make sure you are giving your brain a break. As we begin to settle into a new normal the pace at which you are working cannot be sustained.  There is a lot of adrenaline and endorphins connected to the kind of problem solving you have been doing and that can feel extremely satisfying. (Great article on the brain research behind this.)

You are getting things done, learning new things, connecting with people outside your bubble, successfully crossing things off the to-do list and energizing your professional practice along the way. Adrenaline (and endorphins) are getting released in your brains to give you the extra boost of energy you have needed to get through. As Meredyth noted earlier today, it’s time to move from the sprint to the marathon.  Begin thinking about what is sustainable and how we leverage each other's strengths to support each other. Continuous adrenaline can make you feel productive but isn’t good for the brain long term.

Thank you for making this magic happen….
And this……
...and this…..
You have shown up for our kids in magnificent ways.  I have heard over and over and over this week that Lovett has made a virtual shift that prioritizes our presence in the lives of students. As one parent noted, “All six years of tuition have been worth it for this moment in time.  Thank you!” The entire community is talking about your amazing work. 

I know your to-do list remains long. Try to carve out time this weekend for the marathon prep. Letting serotonin and oxytocin wash over your brains knowing that we will walk into this new frontier together.
As I finished a virtual barre class with some of our colleagues this afternoon hosted by Rebecca Metzger I clearly felt the strength of our community and know that we will emerge from this situation even stronger because of it.  Knowing each other better, leaning on each other more, and thinking even more deeply about our practice. I am honored to be a part of that work.

With gratitude, 
Chelle
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