I am very pleased to be able to address the entire school community of Colegio Americano de San Carlos and Colegio Alerce.

This has been a special year for all of us, a year that has undoubtedly given us the joy of family life, but also thrown at us some difficult moments with immeasurable regrets.

Nobody could predict what we would live, much less advise us on how to best face this radical change in our way of life.

I have talked to clergy of different religions, scientists, businessmen and politicians from different fractions, and they all agree that our faith, determination, drive and resilience are the fundamental factors to living a fully profound and meaningful life during these times of pandemic. But also they all agreed, despite their differences in opinion, that only we as individuals have the power to take advantage of the opportunities presented at us in this time. Last but not least, only individually can we reduce the threats that have arisen using reason and will.

If we do a retrospective analysis, many of us will be able to treasure and feel proud of the individual successes achieved during the pandemic, successes that thanks to faith and resilience, they positively influenced our way of living. However, without fear of being wrong, I bet that we all have made bad decisions or equally important failures, that endangered our emotional, moral, family or economic stability; thus exposing our vulnerability.

The above should not discourage us because this only shows that our imperfections are what make us human.  Only the will, perseverance and hard work we imprint to correct our mistakes is what makes us successful.

Life has taught us how fragile we are, in the blink of an eye, we can lose loved ones, our job, even doubt our faith, but it is in our nature to stand up and move forward. I understand that it is not an easy thing to do, especially if some of us have lost grandparents, parents, siblings, offspring and/or dear friends, but please look around and realize that we still have others who love and appreciate us in the same way.

I thank all our students for their determination, enthusiasm, good humor and I would like to invite them to continue, despite the days that they do not want to take classes online or feel blue because they miss seeing their friends in person.

Always remember how great it will be when we return to school and see them, talk about how we all survived the social distancing and learned new ways to study and promote culture and knowledge. Never give up.

I thank the teachers for their sacrifice and their resilience to adapt to a new way of teaching, it was not easy to train for an accreditation as demanding as that of the IB and at the same time reinvent yourself to teach distance learning. Please remember that by preventing a generation from losing a year of knowledge with your imagination and innovation, Mexico still has a promising future.

I thank the Administrators for their sacrifice and help for the entire school community by maintaining contact with and within all involved, as well as diligently  following the health protocols achieving a secure environment for teachers with the technological and physical facilities at 100%.

To the parents as always, I thank you for the trust you have placed in us and I invite you to strengthen family ties and appreciate this extra time that social distancing has given us with our children. We have all experienced how difficult it is to balance emotions, discipline, study time, worktime, etc at home. However, we must take advantage of these opportunities and turn them into strengths. Let us value now, more than ever, the work of teachers helping our children to solve their problems, not solving their homework for them, but only providing support and discipline, by not explaining to them what to do but by holding them accountable for consulting their teachers and supporting them to connect online to afternoon tutoring if needed.

A friend not long ago asked me for advice on how to academically upbring his son. I gave him the following two of many that I have heard and practiced along the years that seem prudent for this time:

Discipline beats intelligence, without discipline there is no learning, mistakes will not be resolved without discipline. Remember that our role as parents is to be educators of women and men, not their peers.

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist waits for it to change; The realist adjusts the sails. -WILLIAM GEORGE WARD- This is our reality today, let us not complain in front of our children, better yet let us teach them by example, learn to stay in contact with our loved ones even if its remotely, show them how to take advantage of digital resources to make our lives safer and easier, and live intimately in our household.

My best wishes for the holidays, take care of yourselves and let us continue with strict sanitary precautions.  Let us always think about the health of others, and what we are obliged to do to preserve it.

Happy Holidays

Dr. José Alberto Nájera Terán.