Resilience in the time of COVID-19
For regular visitors to this blog, you will know that I am a reader. And, while I’ve been very busy during this time of uncertainty making sure that our community is served to our highest standard, I do take the occasional moment to stop, take a breath and explore new perspectives.
I came upon a quote from Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of the former senator and 2004 Vice-Presidential candidate for the Democrats, John Edwards. Her life was not an easy one and in 2010 she was taken by cancer. She left though a legacy of hope and in her book Resilience: Reflections on the burdens and gifts of facing life’s adversities she wrote, “Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”
This resonated powerfully for me and caused me to think even more about how our school works so hard to build resilience in our students. When we talk about preparing MAC students to be Future Ready, we’re not talking just about giving them the tools and curriculum to help them pursue paths that will provide fruitful and meaningful employment. We’re talking about the entire panoply of human experience. Of learning to explore, to be curious, to seize the wonders of the present moment and how to welcome both the challenges and the opportunities that life confronts us with. No matter how you define success, we all need to be resilient, empowered, adaptable, and nimble to get there.
Since MacLachlan was founded we have challenged the traditions of education. The system as it existed for years (and still does to an extent) teaches about linearity. Our approach at MAC is to teach about what to do when the linear patter breaks, how to look for resilience and how to recover from disruption.
During this time of COVID-19 it can be extraordinarily difficult to see what is good. It can be a potentially overwhelming time when anxiety comes flooding down the pipe threatening to sweep us up in a tsunami of confusion.
But an interesting thing happens when you do as I do – stop, take a breath – and reflect. It’s a funny thing how once you identify those things for which you are grateful you begin to lose sight of the things which create anxiety.
And what am I grateful for? Among many things it is knowing that the path we have chosen for our school is right. Knowing that even during a time such as this we can carry on teaching our students using powerful technological platforms. Knowing that by re-imagining possibilities we are able to maintain momentum and bring our students the tools information and their teachers that are so critical to enabling their future readiness.
Now here’s something extra that we’re doing for our parents and staff.
If you would like some guidance in how to stop and take a breath watch for the launch of MAC MINDFULNESS MEDITATION ZOOM ROOMS next Tuesday April 7th at 3:45. The session will consist of 15/20-minute live guided practices, and will cover all formal mindfulness practices including sitting, breathing, listening, body scan, awareness of thoughts, awareness of emotions, dealing with stress and anxiety. The sessions will be lead by Kate Kerr of Wake Up Kate.