At Year’s End: Farewell to 2018

At Year’s End: Farewell to 2018

This is my final newsletter for 2018. With one year just ending and another about to commence, it is appropriate to spend some time in reflection on the events of the past 12 months.

While it would be unrealistic to claim that the year past has been a universally positive time for all, it is certainly true in my experience that with some careful thought, each of us has something for which to be grateful, something to celebrate. This doesn’t need to be an elaborate exercise, but it is an essential one.

At our school, we are surrounded on a daily basis by reminders of the many gifts bestowed on us during the year, some tangible, some less so. New facilities, long anticipated, have opened up new possibilities for learning in very ‘concrete’ ways. Some of the gifts have been more whisper-like, almost imperceptible. For the many ways in which our lives have been touched by the generosity and thoughtfulness of others, we have cause to give thanks. For the many ways, great and small, in which we may have encouraged or supported another during the year, we have cause to be heartened by an act of service to another.

It is at this point in the year that we often ask of ourselves: “Have I been successful this year?” Some may respond with an unequivocal ‘yes’; others may not feel buoyed by a sense of achievement, but burdened with a brooding anxiety, having fallen short of the mark; still others may finish the year in a state of puzzlement, with more questions raised than answered. Utilizing our fear of failure as a form of nervous energy to inform decisive, positive action is a good response when we don’t meet our own expectations. Questions often point to the things we hold as important in our lives; they suggest ways in which we might prioritize our efforts in the coming year.

For me, the end of a year is also a time for humility. It is all too easy to draw a deep sense of personal satisfaction from the accomplishments of the year, when much credit is actually due to others who have contributed so much, often in unrecognized ways. It is therefore entirely appropriate to offer my heartfelt personal thanks to all colleagues in the ranks of faculty and staff, all members of our parent community, our governors and committee members, and of course our cheerful, industrious, diligent, and brilliant students. We labor together on behalf of all learners, but it is their energy, effort, and engagement that creates the success that is ISF.

To one and all, I extend my best wishes for a restful and merry Christmas and a year of health and success in 2019!

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