Health & Well-Being: Blogging Through COVID Together — A Time to Pause and Reflect!

June 8, 2020

Well, we did it! One week of the blended learning model and it went well. It was different but most reports were positive stories of teachers and students re-connecting and doing some great creative but social distanced learning. It was interesting listening to the news reports and social media conversations. They would often begin as a story of the blended model of learning and how that was going but within a sentence or two would be the wondering about what September will look like. A huge change in our education system happened last week and we are already ready for the next step of the plan. It is human nature to want to plan and figure out what lies ahead but I also think that it may be the perfect time to pause for a moment and reflect. I am the first to admit that I can get caught up in worrying about the future and miss some of the lessons that are right there for us in the moment but a few things have happened this week that reminded me of this need for reflection.

Teachers will be sharing student’s self-assessments

Student report cards will look different this year but one of the important things that will be there is the student self-assessment. It is the perfect opportunity for students to think about themselves as learners and how they have grown and developed over this year. It is also an opportunity for parents to learn about how their children see themselves and their progress. It is a beautiful example of the power of self-refection and an example of how our children can also be our teachers. Self-reflection is a powerful tool for all of us. One of the questions some of our secondary students are reflecting on is how their decisions and actions have impacted their own well-being and the well-being of others at this time. It is a powerful question for all of us to think about and reflect on.

We are flattening the curve and opening up our communities

This is another opportunity to pause. We don’t need to do a lot of wondering and worrying about what is to come but we do need to pause and plan how we are going to behave right now, in this moment. We live in communities and our behavior has always impacted each other but never more than it does now. This is not a long pause because I think we are getting tired of the virus being the sole focus of conversations, decisions and behaviors. We want to move on, and we should, but here is where the self-reflection comes in. Really enjoy and appreciate those new opening up opportunities we have to see and connect with each other.  Take your kids for a haircut (or yourself), go out for dinner if you can and support the local economy, expand your circle and social distance visit with your friends.  Just take the time for quick pause before you dive right in. We have done the hard part so well, let’s enjoy the opening up but do it carefully and thoughtfully together.

The world is reflecting on and taking action on racism. 

This has definitely been a time to pause and reflect on the impact of systemic racism and how to teach and promote anti-racism in the world. We need to educate ourselves and reflect on our part in this global and local issue so we can teach and model this for our children. In many cases it is actually our youth that are leading this learning for us and are reminding us to have the courage to be uncomfortable and to engage in dialogue and action that acknowledges privilege and moves us towards true equality. Our young people are reminding us that things have to change!

The class of 2020 is graduating and they are worth celebrating! 

We are celebrating our graduates this year in usual but creative ways. Graduation has always been a time to pause and reflect on accomplishments. It is a time to reflect on the past, celebrate the present and inspire dreams for the future. This part has not changed even though we are celebrating differently. If you are a 2020 grad parent then congratulations to you! Look through the old pictures, laugh, cry, cheer and share those grad photos far and wide, and know we are celebrating with you!

No matter what grade your child is completing this year, it is a great time in the next few weeks to celebrate and reflect on your child’s accomplishments. They have been negotiating this crazy year and they have been learning a lot. I asked a 2020 grad about what they had learned this year and here it is:

  • Real life matters, online is not the same
  • You need to be able to find peace in yourself, when you are not busy with constant distraction
  • You need to find ways to be creative because it is important to still celebrate!

I think they are important reflections and I know there are more out there too. So, let’s ask them, let’s celebrate them, and then let’s take time to pause and listen to the wisdom of our children. They’ve got this!

Congratulations to the class of 2020 and their amazing and dedicated parents!