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 … 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.
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.
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!
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?