Venturing Further in Different Ways

We believe in Venturing Further at Greenwood. We ask our students to explore and to step out of their comfort zones in all aspects of our program, from academics to outdoor education to service learning, and we believe that each student should strive to be their best self. 

In light of the pandemic, people worldwide are being asked not to venture further - rather, we’ve been asked to stay in! These restrictions on our adventures have been a significant challenge. Without the ability to venture out, we have been pushed to venture further in different ways. A pandemic is new territory for all of us - and while it may be challenging us, it’s also teaching us.

Our staff learned (quickly) how to deliver an effective lesson online, and students had to learn how to work productively at home just as rapidly. Both of these groups are still learning together, and our teachers continue to refine their practices with every week that passes.

We have all learned the value of opening up. We are sharing a little bit of our home lives, whether we are taking peers on a virtual tour of the backyard or seeing the family dog join in on a lesson. We are asking for help, or learning that it is okay to ask for help - to be vulnerable, and to not have all of the answers.

We are learning what it means to put the needs of the collective ahead of our own, even when it makes our lives more difficult. We are learning how to cope with uncertainty and to evaluate and prioritize what is most important to us. Most of all, we’re learning that when we cannot control our circumstances, we need to look to what we can control: our response to those circumstances. (This Forbes article takes an in-depth look at the simple lessons the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us.)

Are these easy lessons? Definitely not. But we are learning them, one day at a time.

I am having to “dig deep”. Deeper than during a marathon, triathlon, student exchange, canoe trip or any physical challenge (okay, childbirth might be up there). I need to find patience and forgiveness for people who are unaccepting of the current circumstances or searching for someone to blame for the impact of COVID-19. I need to find strength to support people around me and empathy when I can only imagine what others are going through.

Be sure to give each other a lot of grace. As it turns out, this venture of going nowhere may be the toughest venture of all. Like all ventures, this one will change us -  it will make us stronger, both individually and as a community. 

Greenwood College School

443 Mount Pleasant Road
Toronto, ON M4S 2L8
Tel: 416 482 9811