By: Amy Davis, Middle School Principal
On March 4, 2020 I wrote the last LPS newsletter leadership blog post on “Flexible Thinking.” In it I referenced what a necessary skill it is to possess and gave examples of how we approach teaching our students to be flexible thinkers at LPS. On March 4, 2020, I did not know what I know now. I did not know what was so soon to come and I sure could not have imagined how vital this skill would be for the future. At the time, I talked about using flexible thinking to manage when “Friday Pizza Day” was unexpectedly changed to “Friday Hot Dog Day,” that seemed like a big deal at the time. Throughout this past year everyone has had to become flexible thinkers, we had no choice. For some things it is easier than others, like having to hand sanitize upon entering a public space, we never used to do that before. Some things have been harder to adapt to like going through your mental checklist of the necessary things that one needs before leaving the house. Other situations have been very challenging to wrap our flexible brains’ around like our return to school with our cohort model. Staff, students and families had to have flexible, open minds as to how this was all going to work. For staff, we told them that this year would be like no other and even if you had worked here for 15 years, this would feel like your first year of teaching at COVID LPS. For students we have asked them to be flexible with their mindset regarding almost everything they once knew of Learning Prep. While all of the supports are still in place, they look and feel different and it is often hard for our students to be flexible with change. What has been the most amazing thing to me is to see the students, staff and families rise to the occasion of this flexible thinking scale. We are all doing it every day and we sure have been thrown a lot of curve balls.
Finally, with flexible thinking comes learning. For some of the situations that we have been forced to rethink, we have actually created better systems that hopefully we will utilize once COVID is not a thing. For example, the great learning and growth regarding technology usage has been immeasurable for both staff and students and will be skills and tools that we can build on for the future. Teaching flexible thinking is in the fabric of all that we do at LPS; everyone plays a role in this job. Utilizing flexible thinking skills every day has been put to the test by all of us this past year and we passed!