The summer is flying by. It seems just yesterday I was anxiously waiting for the garden to spring forth, horse shows to start and swimming to begin. Now signs of fall and thoughts of school are on the front of many minds. Schools are tentatively re opening their doors, and offering on-line options. Students are (from my observation) anxious to return to the classroom, in whatever way. Teachers, parents, caregivers and administrators are carefully walking a tightrope of safety, education, and wellness. I honor those who are doing the work to educate during the pandemic.
There seems to be no really good answer to the question of education and social and emotional learning these days. Due to COVID, we are all being encouraged to stay socially distant and wear masks, with no real "end" in sight. Education comes to us best, in large part, when delivered in person. With a teacher in place, students can express themselves clearly, ask questions, process lessons with peers, feel fustrations and accomplishments fully, and share with teachers, mentors, friends, paras, administrators and more. The educational system has been faced with an unprecidented crisis. As we all adapt to this new world of faceless folks, so will the bigger picture adapt. What education and social and emotional growth looks like moving forward will be graduate research material for decades to come, I am sure. I believe that we each have the ability to help each other during these times. As the saying goes : "It takes a village to raise a child". We all need a village of kind, clear, comapssionate, courageous, forgiving and grateful people working together to provide safety, an avenue of education for a younger generation, and care for an older generation. For my part, I am driven to move on with Farming For Resilience. During a two week lull in action, I am tweaking the curriculums to prepare for a busy season of teaching courage, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion in action. For youself, please consider doing the following: 1) Take time to really listen to someone. Lend an ear and an open heart. 2) Share a smile with everyone you meet. 3) If you notice someone is upset, ask them if they are ok. 4) Pick 3 random acts of kindness to carry out. Note how carrying them out impacts you and others. 5) Replace an angry thought with a loving thought. 6) Practice self compassion. Do something special for yourself. 7) If you see others alone or left out, engage and include them. These seemingly small things can literally reverse a negative trajectory, and change lives for the better. Move on this fall with compassion, caring and courage. All my best, Christina