May 13
Lessons from an Octopus

Dear Parents of Sibylla Kiddle School,

A few weeks ago the Oscar for Best Documentary went to My Octopus Teacher. It is a film that follows the year long journey of a man who daily immerses himself into a kelp forest to observe, befriend and learn from an octopus. The premise may sound ordinary, even odd, but the simplicity and beauty in the lessons learned are wondrous and applicable to any age. The film teaches us lessons with respect to patience, simplicity, interconnectedness, vulnerability and intelligence.

Last week I wrote about lessons from a sapling. This week I draw lessons from an octopus. It isn’t a mistake that I encourage our families to take daily time to be in nature and learn from nature. Lockdowns, pandemics and online learning have led to necessary but virtual realities. Our ability to connect has become compromised. However, nature can be a strong counter balance to those virtual realities.

I encourage our students and our families to take as much time as possible this upcoming week to take a break from the screen and be in nature. Don’t preplan what lessons nature will teach but do be intentional in searching for what nature has to offer. The documentary filmmaker, Craig Foster, for My Octopus Teacher started his journey with a simple question; “What happens if I just went every day?” What question(s) will start your time of exploration in nature?

I want to express my continued gratitude to each of you who are going above and beyond to support your child’s learning at home. As parents and as educators, we know the joys and challenges you experience and we appreciate your partnership on this learning journey. Please continue to reach out to the school or your child’s teacher if you need support.

Sincerely, Brad Emery


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