Covid candles

Let’s consider this a sequel to my post, Covid kids.

In an effort to follow my own advice, and to model what I say we should all do, I’m going to focus on the positives that have come out of this big Covid mess, for me.

I’ve grown closer to my colleagues. Being forced to work as a team and not just be mayors of our own islands in our own classrooms, we grew to understand and respect each other as people. We also discovered each others’ strengths and how we could uniquely contribute for the benefit of all.

I’ve been able to lean on my co-workers emotionally, and have allowed them to lean on me. We’ve banded together for strength and this has further developed my resilience.

I’ve been able to update my IT skills and increase my digital literacy; to witness the possibilities, but also the limitations, of technology.

I have developed an even deeper appreciation for the parent helpers who used to be allowed to assist with one-on-one reading, changing of home readers, maths skills support and other administrative tasks. I look forward to the day when we will be able to welcome them once more into our classrooms.

Conversely, stopping parents at the gate has meant that I now only hear from families about things that are truly important. Everything is relative and what used to seem like a big deal is now relegated to being considered “minor” and that frees us up to direct our energies elsewhere.

It has seen the hygiene and cleanliness practises of my classroom improve to the nth degree!

It has reinforced my thoughts that schools are not just places for curriculum and for academics. They’re places for kids to feel safe, where they belong, where they have structure and stability, where they can garner the skills they need to be resilient in these uncertain and volatile times.

I have also felt more and more valued by society. We are needed so that essential workers can do their jobs. We are needed so that the ultra important learning of the early years is not gravely impacted or interrupted. We are needed so that parents who choose to, or are told to, keep their kids at home know what to teach, when to teach and how much to teach their children.

I’ve seen unsung heroes like healthcare workers finally receive the acknowledgment they deserve.

This crisis has forced us all to prioritise our own well-being. When added pressures and stressors lead to anxiety, I remembered how to access mindfulness and gratitude to get me through.

When I’ve felt unwell, I’ve afforded myself the time to get well, instead of always just soldiering on through.

I’ve applauded and cheered when reading articles about how parts of the natural world have healed themselves while humans have been in quarantine.

I’ve witnessed leaders around the globe band together to form a united front against the spread of the virus. None of our past quibbles mattered as we teamed together to fight this new threat.

I’ve also witnessed the incredible generosity of strangers. I’ve relished the opportunities to give to those less fortunate and to count my own blessings.

I’ve been uber grateful for the fact that I’ve always tried to do what I could while I could. This means that if I was never able to travel again, I am lucky enough to have many more trips than the average Joe up my sleeve to console myself with, reminisce about and cherish.

In discussions with children about COVID-19 and how they’re feeling about it all, I’ve been able to share resources and guidance that, in turn, helped to allay my own fears about the future.

And, saving the best til last… this situation has made me more reflective of my practice and inspired me to blog again, after a several year hiatus.

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