It’s time to use what we’ve learned to build a better world, says Nicola Sparrow.
I’m writing this on a glorious spring day, sitting in my office next to an open window. Outside, I can hear bellows of encouragement and yells of delight from the girls’ house football tournament. And while everyone always enjoys the tournament, I don’t remember ever seeing so many spectators, or hearing this much enthusiasm.
It was impossible to value the everyday – until it was taken away. Now, it’s all the sweeter. We’ve learned to embrace normality and appreciate it, rather than always racing towards the next big thing. And this year has been all about getting on with things as usual, albeit with the occasional tweak. We have skied every week (in masks). We’ve gone on expeditions (though not overnight). We’ve taken part in Model United Nations (like the real United Nations, on Zoom).
But most importantly, we have enjoyed the privilege of being together as a community. Of course, when we needed to take school online, everyone rose to the challenge. I was amazed to see how quickly our teachers adapted to new technology and how determined our students were to stay engaged. But there is nothing quite like hanging out, chatting, learning and enjoying each other’s company in real life. We’re all just happy to be here.
We can take many positives from the huge challenges of the past year: how quickly we can adapt to change, how resilient we can be, how we can change the rules if we want to. We have formed a post-Covid group – almost like a think tank – of senior leaders, teachers and governors. It will be their task to think about not just what Aiglon looks like post-pandemic, but how we fit into that post-Covid world. How should we change and adapt? How can we find opportunity in this awful event, and how can we grow from it?
So it’s now time to look to the future, and how we can use what we have learned to build a better world. Along with our new-found appreciation of normal life should come a new compassion, an awareness of our privilege, an increased understanding of those who are not so fortunate – and a desire to do something about it: all things that are close to Aiglonians’ hearts.
And with that in mind, I shall close the window, leave my office and join my joyous, shouting students in the sunshine.
Originally published in Issue 16 of the Aiglon Magazine. Published in June. Read Online.
Photography Joe McGorty
About Mrs Sparrow
Nicola is Aiglon’s Head of School and is responsible for the daily functioning of the school and oversees all educational aspects of school life - academic, pastoral and co-curricular. She joined the Aiglon community in 2012; her career in teaching and international education spans three continents featuring a wide range of both classroom and administrative experience. Nicola lives on campus with her family.