Community, not competition

It seems like everything is a competition these days.

The rollout of vaccines is the latest. It’s Ontario’s vaccination rates compared to British Columbia’s. Nova Scotia vs. Alberta. USA vs. Canada. Moderna vs. Pfizer. AstraZeneca vs. Johnson & Johnson. And, the stakes are high.

Our happiness and safety are seemingly dependent upon the perception that vaccine rollouts are a zero-sum game. In short, if you are winning then I must be losing.

And, competition is all around us, both for kids and adults. Is my car better than yours? Does my Instagram account have more followers than yours? Why did you get the award and I didn’t? My country is better than yours. My sneakers are…blah, blah, blah. It can be a life of endless comparisons if you let yourself go there.

The reality is, that depending upon who you are comparing yourself to, you can feel like you are either winning or losing all the time.

Last year, students and, in particular, our graduating students in Grade 8 and Grade 12, thought they had one of the worst years ever given that in-person classes were cancelled after the March Break. This year’s graduating classes would be justified to compete for the “worse ever” moniker given the restrictions placed on all activities throughout the year and extended stay-at-home orders keeping them off campus for several weeks. Neither last year’s or this year’s classes will experience traditional family-attended end-of-year ceremonies.

Maybe it's a tie for worst. But wait…

In 1928, Trinity College School burned down in Port Hope and had to move to Woodstock, Ontario, for two years. I wonder how the class of 1928 felt about their untraditional school year?

It’s all very disappointing. And it's not a competition.

Caring communities, like TCS, strive to support and celebrate all students. Like a family. Yes, of course there are awards, leadership positions, grades and trophies at TCS. But the prevailing culture, as counter-intuitive as it can be when compared to life these days, is one that aims to value and respect all differences and individual experiences. As individuals within a greater community, we aren’t in a constant state of competition with one another.

This year has been difficult for everyone on the planet. Including our graduating class. Full stop. No comparisons necessary.

Let us focus our efforts, now, as parents, friends, family and as a school, on doing our best to celebrate the individual and collective successes of each student and each graduate, as a community.

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Trinity College School Caring Community Celebrate Success

Comments

Thank you, Mr. Grainger.Your point is well taken.

It is funny how things are perceived.

I have four children and one of the best graduations I’ve ever gone to was the one of 2020. One of my daughters had graduated last year and everything about graduating was going to change .... everything was up in the air because of Covid19.

What the teachers of Trinity College did was so amazing and fun! They came, as a convoy, to our house, which that in itself, was so special. They brought gifts and got to meet our cat ! It was very thoughtful and our whole family felt so special. It was so caring and kind.

On graduation day, with a police escort, we drove through the town of Port Hope, honking our horns, waving & yelling out thanks to total strangers that came out of their houses to wave & congratulate. We drove and looked at all the graduates pictures that were blown up into posters that lined the side of the road and my daughter pointed out who everyone was. We participated in something that was crazy and so much fun! It was such a hands on graduation that I’m surprised to say, it was one of the best graduations I’ve ever been too!! We took so many great pictures that day. It was so personal and we will never forget it. Everyone participated and we felt together! Thanks to all that made it so special.

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