‘The new normal’, ‘extra-ordinary times’, ‘lockdown’ and ‘covidiot’ are but a few new expressions and words that have entered the English lexicon on a more frequent basis since the onslaught of the Corona Virus in the world from early 2020. However, one that I have encountered frequently, indeed either because I have used it myself, or others have inflicted it upon me, is ‘pivot’.
Typically ‘pivot’ in this context is attempting to use a softer language to describe a change in direction from a previous thought pattern or way of working or learning. As one can imagine, the amount of pivots that we as a society have to engage in over the last 8 months have been substantial, from making sure you have your car keys, wallet, phone and mask, to giving people on the street a wide birth of over 1.5m when encountering them walking in the opposite direction.
MIS as a community has also had several pivots to contend with. Just a few weeks ago we embarked upon a major challenge of running a Parent-Teacher-Conference for all students resulting in over 5000 individual appointments with teachers all taking place on a new platform using technology that both the parent community and the teachers were unfamiliar with. However, the feedback received from the community has been overwhelmingly positive, in fact one of my favourite comments was ‘…if there is one positive to come from Corona this technique of PTC is it…’. With such a response MIS has no doubt performed a successful pivot and this will in all likely change and disrupt how future conferences are approached and accessed by the community.
After analysing the feedback and the approach of all factors that led to the virtual PTCs success, whilst also acknowledging where it could be further improved, I began to reflect why we as a community were able to pull it off. We are of course more experienced and accustomed to this genre of change given the current climate, but we are also a community of Risk-Takers. Many of us having left our home countries to seek opportunity, adventure and learn more about the world beyond our homes. Others have chosen to educate in a language foreign to one’s mother tongue to allow for personal growth into a more global way of thinking and seeing.
This makes me feel positive about the pathway forward for us as a community, but more precisely for the students we serve. The more we can model these behaviours with confidence and courage the more our children/students will do so too, with the auxiliary arms of intelligence and knowledge to master whatever new skills that will need to be inhabited on a frequent basis as the world matures.
We at MIS focus a lot, these days, on ‘pivots’ where we try to improve the status quo whilst also dealing with the strict arrangements put in place by the regional governments to keep us all safe. From ensuring that the queue is not too long in the morning for temperature checks to how to organise the potential visit of St Nicholas this early December!
Others have chosen to educate in a language foreign to one’s mother tongue to allow for personal growth into a more global way of thinking and seeing.
I am convinced that MIS is prepared technically for the challenges that may lay in front of us this winter and our students will emerge from these challenging times more dexterous, courageous and proud of their multiple achievements.
Whilst parts of the world battle with simple decorum and rational arguments, future ready MIS community thinkers will be ready to guide them towards less confrontational paths and help them pivot to better and more successful pathways.
Director of Learning Technologies