As I reflect on the first week of school, I’m amazed at how flexible and adaptable kids are! In order to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 there are of course many new routines and rules in place this year. From my perspective (in the Gr. 5 classroom), students have handled it extremely well. I’m sure some of it has to do with how you, the parents, have instilled confidence in your child (thank you!), and how teachers are trying to make this as much of a positive or normalized experience as possible - but still - I’m impressed with how students have adapted to our “new normal”, so quickly. Another thought that keeps resurfacing in my mind is: the importance of putting our complaints into perspective. A month or so after March Break, I had a conversation with my grandfather about Covid-19. I asked him how he was doing, and if he was staying busy. He replied: “Yes, I’ve been reading a lot, keeping up with the news, working on projects around the house, etc.” He was quite chipper. The conversation evolved, and we both began stating what we were missing out on due to all the shut-downs, and isolation. There was a pause, and then he quickly brought it all back into perspective by mentioning that “yes it’s a tough time, but not nearly as bad as the millions of people living in war zones and concentration camps with no shelter or even food.” I wasn’t expecting that. I was a bit stunned. Partly because the conversation took a sharp turn, but also because there was so much truth to it. I have had conversations like this before, but it had been awhile. This one stuck with me - perhaps because of who said it, and how it was said. I was reminded of what I do have, and that is: a massive amount compared to many. Over the course of these pandemic months, I have been grateful for the conversation I had with my grandfather, as well as last year’s school theme, “Overflowing with Thankfulness (from Colossians 2) because it keeps me grounded, it makes me think about others, it steers me away from negativity and ungratefulness. Furthermore, and more so than ever before in my teaching career, I’m grateful for the adaptability/flexibility inherent in kids! I pray that as a school community, we’ll be thankful, flexible, and adaptable, all the while keeping things in perspective, as we navigate these ‘uncharted waters’.
Axel Hiemstra- Gr. 5 Teacher