July 07, 2020 By Denice Stainbank
The year 2020 has been filled with unprecedented changes. Caversham started the year on a high note as we introduced two new centres in Cape Town and Highways Durban. Although our academic calendar was affected due to the lockdown starting in March this year- Caversham Institute intends to end this year on a high note.
The value of ECD in communities isn’t a new one as we have started with community leadership initiative called ‘Inspiring the Inspired’ which, although we have had to put this on hold with restrictions on public gatherings, is one exciting aspect of what we have always stood for at Caversham Institute, inspiring ECD teacher / practitioners to live and leave a lasting legacy. Where better to do this but in communities that are in need of quality and inspiring ECD centres. We look forward to finding new ways to inspire leaders in communities within this ‘new normal’ era.
As much as it hasn’t been business as usual we have really found that our team has been able to quickly adjust to the changes and work together to creatively to use this time to upgrade our systems, initiate on-line teaching & learning, update our core material and affirm our values of accountability, collaboration and lasting legacy. Our team decided early into the lockdown that it is highly important that we prioritize our students and staff.
This decision lead to us unanimously adopting a new aspirational goal for 2020 which is going to remain at the core of our decision making: To complete the academic year with our staff and students safe, well and inspired to rebuild ECD in their communities.
We are really excited to find new ways to communicate with our staff and students and although some of us have felt we have had more blonde moments than usual with blunders such as leaving the microphone on while we boil water/ enjoy a hearty breakfast or forgetting to switch the camera off while we actively participate with our eyes wide shut. It has been fun to see us all get used to the many platforms and with the intimacy of being in our homes it has made us feel closer as a whole staff. These new ways have also allowed us to connect and support our students as it really has been difficult in many ways, especially financially as many people have lost their jobs, many preschools have shut down and for some the stress of having to retrench staff has been extremely difficult. We have been able to share these heart-breaking moments and offer consolation, empathy and virtual hugs-this has strengthened our team communication.
Ultimately we are looking forward to our intake for 2021 and with the support of our Board, Central Team, facilitators, mentors, students, and investors we are emerging from this National Lockdown stronger, more cohesive and yet more agile and flexible. We are inspired to explore alternative ways to communicate and offer training that will expand our reach in providing an invaluable service in the sector. We are excited to step into a new era with endless possibilities for collaboration and growth as we welcome a new normal.