Musings from Boulden

Friday, June 11, 2021

Below is the address by Head of Junior School Jennifer Wyatt for Closing Ceremony, June 10, 2021.

Good afternoon and welcome to Trinity College School’s 2021 Junior School virtual Closing Ceremony. We are here today to celebrate every Junior School student, their perseverance, integrity, courage, creativity and compassion. We had high hopes for the 2020-2021 school year, and we are lucky in that we are healthy and that we were able to spend much of our time together, in person. This is not the ending any of us wanted; however, we will not let that deter us from marking the end of this school year that has been anything but routine!

Some of the year’s highlights include, but are certainly not limited to:

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Friday, June 04, 2021

This past weekend, I finally got my first of two vaccinations. As I drove from my home to Peterborough, as this was the earliest and closest location available, I was edgy – not my usual self – and I could not quite sort out why. I was greeted by a security guard at the entrance of the parking lot, confirming the reason for my being onsite. I then went to queue up as directed and was asked a series of questions by a volunteer. The next volunteer checked my appointment and crossed my name off the list. I was ushered indoors and met by another volunteer who told me to follow the arrows and turn left after going through another series of doors. Another queue, physically distanced. Upon the entrance way, yet another volunteer coaxed me in and directed me to the intake desk where I handed over my health card and more personal information.

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Friday, May 28, 2021

It is hard to believe that the end of this school year is around the corner in many respects; and in others, it’s been a bit of a slog since April… We are doing our best, all of us, to keep smiling, to keep persevering. So, here we are – in full preparation mode for the last weeks of school. A lot of energy has been put into planning memorable and joyful events by the adults in Boulden House; in fact, many jumped at the opportunity to lead some of these events. But how do you prepare for all of this when we are staying at home and only have access to essential items? Well, that is what planning is and thinking ahead! We are going to creatively work our way around some of these little bumps in the road.

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Friday, May 21, 2021

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working on taking down the fence that was at the front of the house, the one major eyesore of this new home. The reason behind it was sound, protecting a child and dog from a busy road; however, its solid build and height just did not make sense. I’ve never removed so many screws. The lumber is stacked away for future use. The posts stayed because they are being reused. I painted them white – to match the picket fence that was going up. A month ago, at the old house, behind the fence that I had built three years ago, I had spent the weekend making pickets (did you know about the lumber shortage?). They moved with me in April and have been resting in the yard – awaiting the sun. Well, the sun has come out! And last week, slowly but surely, the pickets went up, the gate was made, and now, paint.

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Friday, May 14, 2021

This week, faculty at TCS participated in part two of three professional development sessions on brave conversations. For this component of the series, we practised how to have brave conversations – as initiators and receivers. These conversations require fortitude, not only because they often run close to our hearts, but also because they stir up emotions that can get in the way of having a productive conversation. Faculty have brave conversations regularly, with students, parents, colleagues and managers, but it seems that perfecting them is a challenge – no matter how many of these conversations are had, they still give people stomach flutters, goosebumps, pricklies, or heart palpitations. However, in order to grow as a community, to ensure that we keep doing what is right, and in the best interest of students and the school, they are necessary.

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Friday, May 07, 2021

What do moving and Christmas Day have in common? More than you have probably ever thought about… But with a 30+ minute commute now between home and Boulden House, I have lots more time to quietly muse...

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Friday, April 30, 2021

Everyone makes mistakes, from blurting out something inappropriate, to ignoring a friend in need, to making a statement that ostracizes and shames individuals. Is it different when we are children than when we are adults?

Many think that adults should know better and I have often also heard adults say that of children, “she should have known better!” Not sure that perspective is terribly helpful to either children or adults.

As educators, we expound the benefits of making mistakes. They are learning opportunities. They teach resilience, reflection and demonstrate whether we have growth or closed mindsets. As parents, oftentimes we want to protect children from failure and especially the consequences. What are we teaching them by doing so?

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Well, here we are again… As optimistic as we were, somewhere, deep down inside, we knew we’d likely be online after the break. And here we are. Online. And, wow! I have been so impressed with the engagement and resilience of students in the classes I have “Meet bombed.” They have transitioned seamlessly for the most part. I am also incredibly grateful for the positive and supportive feedback from parents. I also need to thank the Junior School teachers for continuing to put their best foot forward, planning engaging lessons and regaling in student interest and interaction. And of course, Ms. McNutt for keeping all things administration flowing.

Even with a late April snowfall, parks being closed and an extended stay-at-home order, Boulden House residents are rallying. And hoping for a back to campus opportunity before the close of the school year.

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Friday, April 09, 2021

As we all embark on the very much needed Spring Break, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been following COVID protocols, particularly our My 5. It was fortunate that we had the opportunity to switch to online learning this week as a precautionary measure for our Junior School students.

As you are perhaps aware, we were intending a number of events this week, taking advantage of the entire campus while Senior School students learned from home. It is our hope that soon students will be able to attend chapel in person, utilize the numerous gymnasium facilities on campus, as well as benefit from our outdoor space, including the new tent, as an additional learning and exploring environment. We also had to reschedule our Art Day (stay tuned for a new date).

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Friday, April 02, 2021

This week, I have felt both, in various contexts, about people and thoughts. I have also had to deliver happy and disappointing news. It is certainly one of the tensions as a leader. On the one hand, decisions that are made can have a positive impact on many and be in the name of the greater good and thus cause happiness; while on the other hand, decisions can be crushing for others. Delivering that kind of news is disappointing to both the sender and the receiver. The same goes for happiness; give someone some good news, and you instantly feel a part of that happiness.

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