With so much uncertainty on what the future holds, our focus should be on the present

There is a significant amount of literature that exists on the need to prepare our children for the future. Terms like ‘the fourth industrial revolution’, ‘STEM skills’ and ‘the future workforce’ appear frequently in business and lifestyle articles, and schools often refer to “building future leaders” in their marketing material.

But if the last year has taught us anything, it’s that this future may look vastly different to one that we are planning for. For many of us, trying to plan even a week in advance feels daring right now, as nothing is certain, and everything can change at a moment’s notice.

Education experts and educational psychologists have long advocated the need for being intentionally present in your child’s life, as a way of helping kids grow and develop; taking time to play and spend time with them, paying attention to them, and actually listening to what these incredible young humans have to say.

Unfortunately, “we listen to your kids” printed on a billboard doesn’t have quite the same impact as “building the future leaders of South Africa”, but the softer and more understated messages rarely do.

That doesn’t mean that they are any less important.

At HeronBridge College, we seldom host official open days. This is not a decision that we have made based on Covid-19 protocols, but rather on the fact that we want prospective parents to come in and see how we engage with our pupils, at any time.

We want parents to ask the tough questions like; “how do we respond to a child who is feeling anxious?” “How do we encourage understanding and empathy between different cultures” and “what are the types of things we do to make sure that our children feel safe and cared for?”

Of course, our aim is to ensure that our curriculum and teaching methods are preparing our learners for their future careers, but more importantly, we want to make sure that they feel prepared for now. We want to ensure that we are helping our learners grow into confident, encouraging, and kind human beings that feel equipped to tackle the day, the week, the month and year ahead, wherever that may lead.

Nothing about the start of this academic year has gone according to plan, except for the fact that we are and always will be the safe, loving and encouraging school that our pupils, staff and parents know.

There is no way for us to predict what the next few months of this school year hold. We don’t know if we will need to be online or whether a return to campus will remain so for the rest of the year. Regardless, our focus remains on educating with heart, all the rest will follow. 

By Natasha Marot: Marketing Leader | HeronBridge College
www.heronbridge.co.za
@HeronBridge