Greetings Walnut Farm Montessori School Community!

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Greetings Walnut Farm Montessori School Community!

This year has proven to be a challenging and strange time for us here in Northwest Arkansas, and around the world. Walnut Farm has been in existence since 1991 and never before has the school faced anything like this challenge of a pandemic. Through our careful preparations and procedures, and the diligence of our community, we have prepared for the worst and are hoping for the best. As this newsletter is being published, we are in the 10th week of our doors reopening with zero positive cases crossing our threshold. This outcome has been a gift to all of us and has provided a sense of normalcy to our lives, but we still have a journey ahead of us.

Being in a state of unknown is one of the largest stressors of this time. It makes life more difficult to plan and increases our worries for our children, families, neighbors and the world. It is important to acknowledge the difficult times we are going through, but it is also important to work on our resilience. One thing that we can do to ease some of this tension, is to focus on what is going well in our lives and train our brains to think with optimism. There are many studies out there that show we are able to rewire our brains to think positively, and that this rewiring reduces stress and increases our happiness, which in turn makes the world a better place for all. Elena Aguilar, (the author of the book the staff and I are reading called, Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators) shares, “Optimism can be learned and strengthened, and it’s a key trait of the resilient” She goes further to explain that it is important to be a realistic optimist verses one who is unrealistic, or what some would call “Pollyannas”. She states, “[Realistic optimists] believe that good things can happen, while still recognizing that a lot of work will be required.”

As we continue into the unknown, we can acknowledge that we still have a lot of work to do to get through this, but we are doing the work and good things are happening. I will close these thoughts with another quote someone shared with me in the beginning of the year by Eileen McDargh, “Resilience is not about bouncing back. It is about growing through.” I am thankful to be growing through this year with the community at Walnut Farm!

The fall and winter holidays are quickly approaching. The staff and I wish each of you a wonderful holiday season filled with the gifts of health, family, friendship, and love.

In gratitude,
Lynette Goss