“Be gentle with yourself and generous with others” is a phrase that Ed Noot, Executive Director of the Society of Christian Schools in BC, shared with us school leaders during one of our many virtual meetings over spring break. It’s a phrase that has stuck with me over these last few weeks and something I’m trying to integrate into all aspects of my life during these unprecedented times, and I want to encourage you to do the same.
The Home Front
If you’re like me, the home front has had its highs and lows over this break. A quick FYI—I don’t recommend trying to sell your house during the COVID-19 pandemic…it’s a little stressful. I have three daughters at home (5, 8, and 10 years old) so life is a little busy as I’m sure many of you can attest to. My dear wife is walking the same journey many teachers are as she discerns what kindergarten will look like for her students. So, our home, as I’m sure is true for many of you, is a little stressful at times.
I want to encourage you to be gentle with yourself. Apologize a lot, take time to recharge, and cut yourself some slack. As we look towards connected learning at ACS next week, be gentle with yourself. We’re here to support you, and your child in learning, and it’s not all “on you” as parents. You are the parent and we are here as educators to educate your children.
Be generous with your children as they navigate this new reality, be generous with teaching staff a they are working through this new reality too. This will become easier and easier with each passing day. Be gentle with yourself and generous with others.
The staff at ACS have been working hard all week, putting in long hours, and trying to find out how we will engage minds, nurture hearts, and shape God’s world in this new reality.
We, as is true for you, have gone through periods of grieving the things that won’t be.
Teachers have had to adjust how and what they teach, on many different levels. It’s like being a first-year teacher all over again! I’ve had to admit and say more times than I’d like “I don’t know.” I haven’t felt like I’ve supported my staff and leadership team enough at times. Be gentle with yourself….
Our staff is dedicated and passionate about your children and wants to do right by them. They have asked a lot of our leadership team; they have expressed frustrations; they have shed tears in exhaustion and frustration. Be generous with others. These “demands” and this drive comes from a place of wanting to serve our students and their families, and to authentically connect with, and educate, the children they care for so much.
Our community is something I brag about all the time. My interactions with many of you over these weeks has been truly gracious. We are all navigating this new reality together. There may even be a few moments when, dare I say, we are excited about some of the possibilities.
But the road ahead isn’t always clear, and it won’t always be easy.
If we can find ways to remind each other to be gentle with yourself and generous with others we’ll make it. In fact, I believe we’ll grow in ways as a community that will shape us well into the future.
Now go and wash your hands.