Sunshine in a Time of Crisis

Spring Break 2020 – not the relaxing holiday I was anticipating.

March 17 – Minister Rob Fleming

On March 17th the provincial government announced that all in-class instruction was being suspended indefinitely throughout BC. School districts were suddenly being tasked with turning our primarily face-to-face teaching paradigm on its head — to move everyone into a virtual teaching platform by the end of Spring Break.

To be clear — we were not being asked to move the entire district to an on-line platform. We were not creating a system of on-line teachers and learners. We were being tasked with creating remote learning during a crisis.

There’s a difference.

The Struggle is Real

A typical moment in my professional life:

I’m at my desk deep in thought — maybe it’s a budget issue, perhaps a community concern, or maybe an organizational dilemma that needs a creative solution. I’m stuck.

It can feel like my brain’s gears are seized or conversely like my wheels are spinning in mud — it’s an immovable tension of struggling to find a solution.

Neuroscientists have learned that the act of struggling is actually an important part of the learning process. Struggling with a problem results in increased neural connections being formed in your brain. The act of struggling forces your brain to develop new networks — bridging the old to the new.

Every Child Has a Gift

Every child has a gift. But, being able to receive it means FIRST being able to recognize it. Schools are in a unique position to do that.

Mission Possible: To recognize, celebrate and nurture every child’s gift.

When we celebrate the gift that each child provides we enable that child to reach new heights of achievement. In public education, our doors are open to every child — every need, every complexity. Finding a child’s strengths can sometimes be the most difficult and frustrating part of our job. You see, for some children, their outward selves can mask their inner beauty through such things as learning or behavioral challenges, lack of attendance or other life complexities.

Finding the magic inside each child can be difficult — but it’s there — in every last one of them.