From I’m Still Standing to Outstanding

From I’m Still Standing to Outstanding

I will write this in English, because it’s about the school that I work in which has just received the highest rank in a British Schools Overseas re-accreditation inspection: outstanding.

What does that mean? It means that we stand out! There is no doubt about it. We do stand out through a lot of things that define our school life, but these past three years have been something else for us. We had already received the accreditation three years ago with the rank good, so we had to prove ourselves once again.

The reporting period was 2020 – 2023. You heard me right! Pandemic years included. We had to demonstrate that, not only, we continued on our path of education, but also that we have improved in years in which survival was the key word for everyone. No pressure, right?

I am currently at home, taking care of my son, but boy have I lived the past three days of inspection just as if I were there, at school. Because I love it! I love what I do and I do it with passion.

We are a great team who has learned (the hard way) to stick together through thick and thin, because the stakes were too important! The relationships that we have helped us on this journey. We worked together, fought, cried, struggled, fell, rose, tried again, got frustrated, laughed, regrouped, strategized and met each other halfway.

The feeling of having your efforts acknowledged at an international level is huge. Recognition gets my dopamine levels through the roof. It doesn’t even matter that I woke up today at 5 A.M. and that by noon I had lived several lives and breathed deep breaths to cope with not a good day for science that my son is having.

Right now, I am humming Elton John’s ‘I’m Still Standing’ and remembering all the tough times we pulled through together during the lockdown.

Do you know what I remember?

I remember Diana coming to the nursery school right before lockdown was instituted by the state and having a heart-to-heart discussion with us about what’s about to happen.

I remember teachers hyperventilating and breaking down, overwhelmed by the fear of losing their loved ones, but then getting up and coming to work and being there for the children who were counting on them.

I remember pulling all the tricks from the hat just like a magician to make online teaching meaningful and fun for pre-school children.

I remember recording myself reading personal development stories for children.

I remember the Romanian authorities visiting us, because they had received a complaint that we were doing illegal education activities, and having to prove them otherwise.

I remember endless hours of sitting in front of the laptop in Zoom meetings, team support, workshops for state schools and meetings with parents.

I remember the ‘Molecules of Joy’ initiative that Diana adopted after a workshop that Mr. Mircea Miclea held for our community, in which she highlighted the little things that help us get through those times.

I remember the comeback with all its joy, panic, distancing rules and learning to breathe, talk and teach while wearing a protective mask.

I remember reconnecting with children after lockdown and seeing their eagerness to just be together and play.

I remember planning and teaching lessons in the forest to ensure distancing.

I remember learning how to be normal once again and hugging colleagues, friends and children.

I remember the feeling of relief that I felt when we did not have to distance ourselves and wear masks in school.

I remember discovering full faces and smiles in people that I had met while wearing a mask.

I remember the first gatherings and our laughs echoing far and out to release the tension that we had accumulated.

I remember all our creative discussions focused on how to do better, how to work around the challenges of the new school year and how to maintain our core.

I remember the good, the bad, the ugly and the outstanding.

Outstanding has to be earned and we have earned it! With our blood, sweat and tears!

We are Avenor, mofos!

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