Resilience is an often-used word. However, never in our collective history has the definition been more profound than it’s been since March 2020, when the COVID pandemic took over the world!
As we bid farewell to our students, there is difficulty believing another school year is coming close. For many of us, it feels as if last summer never happened. When fear, stress, and confusion caused the hours to blur into days blending into months, our Cambridge Network students continued moving forward with their studies, preparing for the future despite the uncertainty.
That fact is valid for all kids whose lives overnight became tumultuous. But our international students circumvented additional challenges. In an unfamiliar country, away from family, friends, and the security of home, they modeled resilience. Holding themselves accountable, their emotions in check, they succeeded. I know I speak for us all in saying I couldn’t be prouder of their fierce courage, determination, and tenacity!
Then there are the host families and teachers – heroes without capes- who, despite their personal concerns, provided unwavering safe, nurturing care for their students. With little time to prepare, host families graciously isolated with our kids while ensuring their needs were met. Teachers sans time for training or test run brilliantly adapted to new methods of bringing education to students. They did what needed to be done, adjusting as they went.
Our deepest gratitude and respect go to every family and educator.
These past fifteen-plus months have changed us in varying ways. Personally, I’ve found intense appreciation for all I once took for granted. The joy of a hug, a handshake, a visit to a school, celebrating a holiday or special occasion will no longer be overshadowed by focusing on the next item on my to-do list. Trite as it may seem, I have learned to live in the moment!
As students journey into the future, be it to the next grade or beginning of college, we should advise them that if there’s a time when they feel overwhelmed or think they’re incapable, they need to reflect upon the inner strength that propelled them past the obstacle that was tossed in their path. From now on, I have no doubt anything will get in the way of their success.
Now moving toward what promises to be a fresh start, a return to the normal to which we are accustomed, let’s each take a moment to applaud our students, our teachers, ourselves, and each other for what we’ve accomplished with grace, dignity, and courage, despite the disruption.
In closing, I wish us all a healthy, happy, Summer filled with moments just to breathe and enjoy life, as it was, as it is, and as it will be.
“On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from having navigated through it. Raise your sail and begin.” Gregory S. Williams
Check out our homestay blog for more information on Cambridge Network as a residential provider, tips for hosting, and our host testimonials. If you’re interested in hosting an international student, please fill out an inquiry form!