Everything will be fine…
“Adaptation is to become a person of your time and place”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would never have thought that we would live in a global pandemic. The experience we shared in the spring of this year not only temporarily affected our lives, work, relationships, but also confronted us with the new reality and its consequences. When all schools were closed on March 16, I, as the owner of all Warsaw Montessori Family facilities, an educator, mother and above all a Montessorian, was confronted with a challenge, I could not imagine before. How, at a distance, to respond to the need of over 300 Montessori students at WMF, how to ensure proper education in new conditions? How can we help very young children from Toddler Schools, Casa dei Bambini and students of our Warsaw Montessori Elementary, Warsaw Montessori Middle and Warsaw Montessori High Schools? And yet we did it! With such a wonderful, harmonious and tight-knit team aboard our ship, the unimaginable became possible. During a week, we launched the entire distance learning program, which for me – Montessorian was unthinkable a year earlier. And then for the first time I thought: Everything will be fine. Adaptation to changing living conditions is a natural ability of every human being.
I, our school principals, teachers, we were constantly in touch with you all. We listened to you and supported one another. You shared with us your experiences, both positive and difficult: paralysed work, the need for remote work, supporting children in the education process, motivating, encouraging, demanding. I appreciate once again the opportunity for you to be partners in the education of our children.
The slogan “Solidarity in pandemic” became the foundation of our pandemic existence. I experienced this solidarity at every step, from you, so tired during the lockdown, burdened with extra duties, from our dear teachers, employees, often from strangers. Being on the phone several hours a day, talking to you – parents, teachers, participating in guest lessons, seeing how our teachers with passion and commitment guide and support our students, I thought again: Everything will be fine.
Many of you know that from the first day when the schools closed, I was preparing to reopen. We waited for this day, like students used to on the first day of the holidays. I followed the news, messages, consulted with specialists, scientists and virologists. Being aware of the importance of safety and, at the same time, the psychological well-being of our children, classroom education, relationships, contact with the teacher, I knew that we would again have to adapt to the new reality for us and our children, for the sanitary regime and procedures that will probably remain with us for a very long time. When I saw the first children returning in pouring rain to Casa dei Bambini, who naturally assimilated new procedures, such as saying goodbye to parents outside the Casa and Montessori Toddler School gates, disinfecting mats, washing hands, changing clothes outside, I thought again: Everything will be fine.
This difficult time turned out to be unusual and interesting. It was full of pain, tension, but also joy, understanding and kindness. Living and working in the unknown, while being the captain and helmsman responsible for our ship, I have experienced again how important, even fundamental, is the value system on which we build our lives. Everything depends on it: how we react to changes, whether we turn out to be a human or a savage, whether the crisis will cause fear and withdrawal or, on the contrary – readiness to change, face a new challenge and a chance for development. In addition to excellent education, it is this positive life attitude propagated by Warsaw Montessori Family that I would like to convey to our students, to instill in our students the indestructible system of values of our parents and grandparents: honesty, kindness, courtesy, empathy, readiness to help, human solidarity. I believe that thanks to these values they will become invincible and change this world for the better.
With all my heart I wish you a wonderful holiday, time full warmth and being close to one another. With hope and optimism I look forward to the future, preparing for the coming school year. I already know that: Everything will be fine!
See you soon over the summer school (Casa and Montessori Toddler School) and summer camps (Elementary and Middle School). We are here to serve your children’s needs.