Looking Through the Opening of “The Pandemic Effect”

Take a deep breath.

No … sorry, not you … I’m actually talking to me. It’s been quite the year. But, if you also need to take one … please, be my guest.

Deep Breathing

I have to admit that I’m feeling pretty worn out right about now — there’s not a whole lot left in the gas tank. All of the change that’s happened this year — it’s been really tiring. As much as I believe in change — and I do — this has been one heckuva year!

My Graduation Speech During a Pandemic

I have previously written about the importance of struggling if we want to strengthen our brains (The Struggle is Real) — that moment in your thinking when it feels like your wheels are spinning and you’re not sure of the correct way out of the mud-pit.

It is a critical moment in brain development where we actually see incredible neural growth and connectivity as the brain works to solve the problem. It’s actually an important time to celebrate.

Well … there was a lot of celebrating that happened while I was preparing this year’s graduation speech. My struggle was real! And it lasted for quite a while, too, I might add.

As I do most years, I begin to think about my speech when the calendar turns over in January. I formulate some ideas and write them down in my notebook. It comes together slowly usually about a week or two before the big event on stage.

This year was completely different. I was having a horrible time deciding on a theme as it had already been an up-and-down year in Saanich … and then came …

… the pandemic.

What does a Superintendent’s speech look like during that tumultuous time?

Leadership During a Storm

As I sit here writing this post it’s been 6 weeks (42 days) since the announcement came from the provincial government that all in-class instruction in our schools was being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If I’m being completely honest … it feels like its been closer to 6 months. The information onslaught, video-conference calls and numerous educational changes have been relentless. Changes that include:

  • from how we were doing school to an UNFAMILIAR way of teaching, learning and assessing;
  • feeling UNSETTLED about not knowing what comes next;
  • increased levels of ANXIETY among many in our community.