Leading With Remote Learning

IWA’s transition to remote learning and working together to find our new normal reminds me of our IWA definition of a leader - Leaders create extraordinary solutions which make the world special. Right now, we are in the midst of doing just that!

I've been consistently inspired by the dedication and resiliency of our talented faculty, who've gone through the arduous task of moving their courses to an online format in a short amount of time. We have teachers posting online lectures, hosting live “office hours” via Zoom to answer student questions, and tirelessly researching new and exciting educational technologies to enhance their remote teaching. Even our counseling team has found a way to provide daily announcement content and wellness advice, keeping the Falcon Family connected and healthy. IWA is blessed to have such talented faculty leaders who have stood up to this challenging task, creating extraordinary solutions during these unprecedented times.

This new remote learning format is not what we had expected for our 2019 - 2020 Academic year, but I am excited by the opportunities offered in this transition. Our asynchronous approach to learning, provides each student an opportunity to practice managing time and coursework at her own pace, similar to online learning in the college context. It also gives our young women a chance to develop those problem-solving and critical-thinking skills that we encourage in our Profile of an IWA Graduate. It may take some time to get comfortable with our new normal, but I am confident that through this experience, our IWA graduates will walk away with greater patience and flexibility, skills necessary to be the strong leaders of tomorrow.

Now, more than ever, I am reminded of the importance and value of sisterhood, so unique to a small all-girls school community like ours. A Woman of the Word “looks beyond herself and naturally finds opportunities to be there for others.” In this time of social distancing, it is heartwarming to hear that our Falcon sisters are finding new ways to personally connect. I am so proud of our Campus Ministry Team for organizing a Virtual Matel Center as an opportunity for students to check in with and pray with each other. I have even heard of a number of Falcons organizing virtual lunches together. As the weeks unfold, I know our sisterhood will continue to pull together and find ways to be of service to the larger community. 

Finally, a Woman of the Word, “tries her best, stays positive and shows integrity, even when something is challenging.” And these sure are challenging times! Yet, each and every day, I learn of members of the IWA family maintaining a sense of bright optimism. Whether it has been through a little extra “grace” teachers have given on submitting assignments, sensitive to each family’s unique technology challenges, or the joy felt by students seeing their teachers and each other again on Zoom, this spirit of positivity brings levity to these uncertain times.

We know this is hard, but know that the IWA team is here, we are prepared, and we are ready to create extraordinary solutions together!

— Regina Galassi, academic dean