‘Tis the Season for Hope

There’s a certain peacefulness to the holiday season. I love this time of year.

For me, it’s one where I slow my pulse rate enough so I can see and hear the beauty that surrounds us — the twinkling lights that adorn our homes and offices, the peaceful music that fills our main streets, and perhaps even a gentle snowfall that blankets our landscape creating a certain stillness.

I have fond memories of all of these things from my childhood to the present. The holiday season rejuvenates me.

But, this year feels different. Very different.

The sense in our community is one of angst — of heightened anxiety instead of peacefulness. COVID-19 has a way of doing that. It certainly makes sense. We are living in an unpredictable world. Despite all of the prognostications and charts, tomorrow is uncertain and brings a sense of apprehension.

And yet, I continue to believe in our future. I believe in the power of HOPE — the importance of looking towards a brighter tomorrow. Our collective future is built on hope.

It’s what drives us in education — the belief that our efforts will result in a better tomorrow — where our students are taught to be solution finders, creators and innovators. Every meeting we have, every decision we make is focused on building capacity and resilience in our students. What we’re really instilling in them is HOPE. Hope builds belief in oneself and others. It builds character, self-worth and inspiration.

Hope is critical. Hope is essential.

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Who Do We Want to Be During COVID?

I love it when I find something completely unrelated to public education and I can find a fit for it. That happened to me recently when I read a blog from the BC Epilepsy Society entitled “Empowering Yourself During COVID-19 (April 17, 2020)”. The blog is about the emotional state of FEAR and how it can paralyze us — keeping us from moving forward in a time of uncertainty.

Fear Can Blind Us to Solutions

Fear … it prevents us from thinking rationally and instead puts us into an emotional firestorm — a mindset that debilitates us from finding a reasonable solution to the new situation. Now, don’t misunderstand me. Fear is natural and useful — it has a place in keeping us safe. But, that time is in the initial instant we are confronted with a danger — that grizzly bear staring at us on the hiking trail. Fear of that bear elevates our senses and our reactivity — the fight or flight response. What it doesn’t do is allow us to be contemplative, rational and thoughtful.

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!