We Hear You and See You
I’ve tried to write this post so many times this week as we continue to feel all the things we are feeling about this crazy virus and the havoc it continues to wreak on our lives. The emotional roller coaster is enormous as so many of us struggle with trying to stay optimistic and yet being terrified, lonely, and sad all at the same time. I constantly have this pull between desperately wanting to return to in-person school because I know and understand the complexity and challenges of having children at home, and at the same time, I feel relief in being at home during a crisis where we can all do our part to try and reduce the spread and help get this virus under control so that fewer people will die!
Given that it’s not our decision (and I do not envy those who make these no-win tough decisions), we continue to engage in distance learning… so now what?
Just like in the spring, when we were forced to do this long term, we want you to know that we HEAR you and we SEE you. We know that this is challenging, we know that many are struggling and we are here for you. I have spent the last few weeks meeting with families to collaborate and brainstorm solutions that feel right for their family. We understand that each family circumstance is different and we are committed to trying to help make things more manageable and sustainable.
How do we navigate going forward when some families need and want their child online, engaged all day, every day, and some families can barely cope and can’t get their child to log on for one class let alone a whole day. We navigate it by trying our best the OJCS way. We try to provide a healthy balance of rigour, and high expectations, coupled with paying attention to the mental health and wellbeing of our students and families. We provide more and extra for those who have the ability and bandwidth to do so and we provide less and different work for those who don’t – all without judgment and one is not better or worse than the other. It is the true definition of FAIR – fair means everyone gets what they need to be successful and so we want to be responsive and fair to all.
This week I read an incredible blog post by Renew Supervision called How to Survive Parenting in a Pandemic which I think many of us can relate to.
I also want to share again some of the blog posts we wrote last year that may be used as reminders as we navigate these unchartered waters again….(deep sigh)
The first blog I wrote last year was entitled, “Help! My kid won’t listen – I’m not a teacher” which you can read here.
Getting Comfortable with the New Reality is not something I was hoping we would have to revisit, but here we are and here you go.
Across ALL grades, K-8, our primary goal continues to be in Promoting Independence and Self-Directed Learners. If that’s intriguing to you and you are interested in finding out what we mean and how we intend to do that, click here.
The bottom line is we HEAR you and we SEE you. We don’t pretend this is easy and we don’t pretend like this is good. But given the circumstances we are in, I’d say the OJCS is doing an incredible job at supporting students and families through this horrible pandemic. My new favourite quote, which I used to launch a PD session with our middle school faculty with the other week is, CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINGS AND THE THINGS YOU LOOK AT CHANGE by Wayne Dyer. We can focus on all of the stress, and trauma, and negativity this pandemic is causing, or we can focus on the COVID silver linings that hopefully exist for all. Personally, I’ve discovered the stunning outdoors in our own city in a way I never would have done without this pandemic. We’ve hiked, biked and now cross country skied to so many breathtaking sites right here in our own backyard – who knew? We are grateful to be healthy, to have a home and food and jobs and lots and lots and lots and lots of quality family time together which I know we will miss when the kids are out of the house. Fill the comments below with your family COVID silver linings 🙂
If you or your child/ren are struggling, please reach out to us and let us help you. We learn better together and we are each responsible for one another.