This summer my family and I had a chance to primitive camp the better part of a week. When I say primitive I mean that we had no running water, electricity, or any other comforts of home. The experience was exhilarating, relaxing, and humbling. As you might imagine the primitive camping provided us all kinds of new and unique fun-filled learning opportunities.
I found myself drifting between taking in the beauty of my surroundings, having fun playing games with the family, hiking, cooking and reading. One afternoon I settled into reading an article titled “Eddy Out” by Jeff Moag. Many of you who kayak, canoe, or whitewater raft, understand what an “eddy” is and the benefits of an “eddy” when paddling downstream. The flow of the water leading into the eddy is opposite to the direction of the downstream flowing water created behind a rock, a tree or other obstruction in the river. These obstructions cause a circular upstream motion in the water that pulls you into a safe calming pool behind the obstacle. It is not so much a safe place but rather a refuge. “Eddy Out” has the connotation of seeking a place to relax and reflect, as you plan to navigate the current ahead.
As we navigate through our daily expectations of helping students learn, grow, and have fun, we come across rough waters as we move forward. Content standards, formative assessments, traumatic experiences for children/families, and life challenges, to name a few, create the uneasy rapids. As we scan downstream we know where we are headed, and the path to get us there, but often get caught up in the turbulence. At times we forget about the “eddy”, the safe oasis to pause, reflect, and have fun.
This year I would like us to not only plan for the moment, each child every day, but scan ahead for the obstacles. More importantly, don’t forget it is ok to “Eddy Out”. Find that safe place, cross the eddy line and pull in for a rest, reflection, and rejuvenation. While you are sitting in the “eddy”, scanning ahead, don’t forget to plan the path that has fun while paddling downstream.
Worthington Schools seeks to provide a safe learning environment for ALL. In a sense Worthington Schools will be an “eddy”, a safe place for students, families, staff and community: a place to find a kind heart; take risks in learning; learn and grow; to “empower a community of learners who will change the world!”
- Dr. Dan Girard, Principal Wilson Hill Elementary