Starting Tomorrow

Starting tomorrow we begin a new chapter in learning and educating.  Now that Spring Break is over for those of us here on Southern Vancouver Island, we need to get back to school, during this global COVID-19 pandemic.  For the past two weeks there has been plenty of planning and talking about what school will look like and how we will deliver out-of-class instruction to our students as schools all over the world have been closed.  Following are some thoughts that have been occupying my mind.

Meeting the needs of our students

Teaching is not an easy job.  We know that.  We plan, prep and try to make our lessons engaging and exciting for students.  Now take all of that planning and deliver it via the app of your choice.  How will it go?  We won’t know until we push it out, until we interact with our students.  I don’t know about you but I am nervous for our teachers.  I am also nervous about being an educational leader during this time.  I want to be able to communicate to parents that we are, indeed, ready to educate their children to the best of our abilities. And I want parents to be able to trust the school system and the people in it.

School will not look like it normally does.  I read somewhere that you take what you would normally teach and cut that in half and then cut that in half again and that should be your expectation for how much students should be doing online at a given time.  And this doesn’t take into consideration all of the other variables at play for our students and their families.

I hope during these times everyone remembers to be kind…

Meeting the needs of our staff as we venture online

Supporting and leading during these unprecedented times will be a challenge in effective communication.  Upon reflection, I feel curious, excited and uneasy.  Part of me is very curious to see what we do and how it will all turn out.  A large part of me is excited because I know our teachers will hit the ground running when it comes to communicating with their students.  They will connect with their students in creative ways and will make each feel special.  Of that, I am sure.  I have witnessed professionalism every day as I have worked with these amazing educators!  I have watched teachers use their talents, strength and enthusiasm.  It is with this talent and enthusiasm that teachers will figure out how best to reach their students for instruction.  As leaders, we will need to be there for support and guidance.

Are you feeling vulnerable and anxious?

Are you a teacher who is prepping and planning for upcoming online instruction?  How is it going and how are you feeling?  What are you most excited about?  Nervous about?  Anxious about?  What can your school administration or district do to alleviate some of your anxiety and feelings of vulnerability?  How can you practice self care during times of unknowing?  So many questions.  Remember to reach out to your colleagues, administration and family members.  We are your loudest cheerleaders!  We will be here on the sidelines cheering for you and supporting you every step of the way.

Technology…will it be enough?

With all the talk of online teaching and learning, will the technology alleviate some of your anxiety or does it heighten it?  Are you comfortable delivering curriculum in this way?  The COVID-19 Pandemic has accelerated us forward to unknown places and spaces.  What things have you been doing to get ready for this unprecedented back to school?  Blog about it and post it for others to read.  I am sure they will appreciate your insight and learning.




Keeping Routines In Our Not So Routine World

Time.  There is so much of it these days.  We live in unprecedented times as social isolation is the new normal; at least only for the time being, I hope.  While we are busy engaging in social isolation, my mind has been thinking about keeping routines in our not so routine world.

Through this pandemic, we have been managing here in our household.  First of all, it has been our Spring Break during these last two weeks so we have had to adjust to not working.  With the COVID-19 pandemic rearing it’s ugly head, most events have been changed or cancelled.  Physio appointments have been cancelled, doctors appointments have been postponed or are going online, and even our daily walks are taking place knowing that we will give a wide berth to our fellow walkers and cyclists on the trails.  But, surprisingly, through all of this, we have managed to keep our routines.

Recently, I read the book Creatively Productive Essential Skills for Tackling Time Wasters, Clearing the Clutter, and Succeeding in School and Life! by Lisa Johnson.  In her book, Lisa shows the reader how to…

  • Devise individualized plans for personal and student organization
  • Manage time more effectively and get more done
  • Set and track goals–and avoid procrastination

One chapter of Lisa’s book is called Taming Time.  In it she explains why calendars, planners and bullet journals are so important in today’s world.  The chapter outlined Bullet Journaling Basics and got me thinking about my Journal Like a Pirate journal that I purchased when it was first released in December.  This journal, created by Dave Burgess Consulting Inc., is something that I wanted to try.

After finishing Lisa’s book, and feeling inspired, I continued with my research into creating and organizing my own bullet journal or a Bujo as it is called by serious bullet journalers.  My research brought me to a short video Minimal Bullet Journal Setup >>for Productivity +Mindfulness.  This video demonstrated very simple ideas about setting up your Bujo and I adapted some of the layouts for my own purposes.  Mainly, I wished to stay organized and wanted to add a couple of items to my day such as a Habit Tracker and a Gratitudes Page.  This journal, along with my planner, have helped our family stay on track and to keep routines in our not so routine world.

What have you been doing to keep up with your routines in our not so routine world?