As we enter the month of June we also enter the end of another school year — a year that for me was a bit of a paradox. I am feeling both exhausted but also inspired by where we’ve come and where we are heading.
As I thought about what I should include in my year-end post, I wanted to focus on big things — those things that made a positive difference.
By focusing on the events that show a way forward, we see the HOPE that is needed to climb the mountains in front of us. And we climbed quite a few mountains this past year. We should be proud of the extraordinary work that has happened and also excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.
I’m going to talk about a few of them. So, let’s get started …
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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.
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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.
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