Resilience – Digging Deeper Than We Thought We Could

Human beings possess what some researchers call a psychological immune system, a host of cognitive abilities that enable us to make the best of even the worst situation.

Lara Aknin, Jamil Zaki and Elizabeth Dunn, The Atlantic (July 2021)

We are capable of more than what we probably think we are capable of sustaining. Researchers Aknin, Zaki and Dunn conducted a review of close to 1,000 research studies examining hundreds of thousands of people across nearly 100 countries and they came to a conclusion:

We are remarkably adept at finding solutions to what might appear to be insurmountable problems.

THE MENTAL HEALTH CHECK

You’ve probably heard that the coronavirus pandemic triggered a worldwide mental-health crisis. This narrative took hold almost as quickly as the virus itself. In the spring of 2020, article after article—even an op-ed by one of us—warned of a looming psychological epidemic.

As clinical scientists and research psychologists have pointed out, the coronavirus pandemic has created many conditions that might lead to psychological distress: sudden, widespread disruptions to people’s livelihoods and social connections; millions bereaved; and the most vulnerable subjected to long-lasting hardship. A global collapse in well-being has seemed inevitable.

Lara Aknin, Jamil Zaki and Elizabeth Dunn, The Atlantic (July 2021)

Alarm bells were ringing.

(More on Page 2)

A New Year Begins – Along With Some Anxiety

Autumn in Victoria, BC

September is such a magical time of the year.

Autumn is the season of cooler weather, crisp leaves on the ground and corn on the cob — all worth looking forward to for sure. But, for me and others in public education, September is also our New Year. It’s a time of starting again, the excitement of seeing the kids back in classrooms, maybe some fun new equipment in the school and the optimism of tackling new challenges with some energy in one’s personal tank.

It’s really a great time of year.

As I enter my 34th year in public education that excitement is still there — freshly polished floors, big ideas on our learning agenda and a bunch of exciting new projects to tackle.

Yet, similar to last fall there is still a feeling of anxiety amongst many in our community. COVID continues to provide a significant distraction for many and a challenge for us as we focus on teaching and learning.

(More on Page 2)

Saanich Schools: Change During a Pandemic

I was recently asked to write an article for a local magazine on how we’ve managed our schools throughout the pandemic. There is, without question, a lot of anxiety from this health crisis, but what a great opportunity to share some of the positives we can take from our current situation.

There are always lessons we can learn, changes that are beneficial and momentum that we can use to instill growth. And while uncertainty can breed worry it can also be a springboard for necessary change.

You can find the article from Seaside Magazine on their website, but I’ve also reproduced it for you below.

SAANICH SCHOOLS – CHANGE DURING A PANDEMIC

It goes without saying that COVID-19 has caused some significant upheaval in the public education system – for students, parents, teachers, administrators and support staff.  Schools were closed in March, then partially re-opened with an emergency remote learning option in April, a partial opening in May and then fully re-opened in September with an optional transitional remote learning program.  All of them complex on their own with each phase requiring different approaches, different resources and different thinking — all in an accelerated timeline.

(More on Page 2)