For those of us in Victoria, the mood is heavier than our first lockdown. But even though schools in all states are in different circumstances, I know we are all holding our breath to some extent around the future. The teams I have spoken with over the last three weeks are struggling to hold the same optimism and energy as last time. It feels like there is so much more at stake for students, teachers and our own children. I'm sending a special shout out to the staff at our special schools, who are the only ones still open at this time. I spent the day virtually on Friday with the amazing crew at Latrobe Special Development School in Traralgon. The principal team, Nicole Herbert and Helen Clifton, are dynamos and continue to focus day in and day out (including the night!) on keeping the school functioning and providing what certainty they can for their community. The teachers, allied health professionals and education support staff are focussing on their circle of control and doing the very best they can in the circumstances. I am in awe of the way these wonderful humans turn up every day to provide care and learning opportunities for some of our most vulnerable students.
Many of the discussions have come around to self-compassion. Many people don't want to talk about it, yet the need to make it a part of each day is so important. What small little joys can you give yourself that don't take much, but have significant impact on your wellbeing? #joybubble. For me at the moment, the daphnes in the gardens on my walk and my own daphne finally showing flowers is my big joy bubble!
I really love the simplicity of this diagram that has been flying around social media recently to remind us of the things that can help our brains and our hearts.
One of the Latrobe SDS teachers, Talia, made the comment that giving gratitude feels just as good, if not better, than receiving it.
WHAT'S IN YOUR MIRROR
I agree with Talia, I reckon she is right on the money. To add to this I also believe that sometimes what we seek from others - appreciation, affection, being seen and valued - is also what they seek from us. So if you are needing more of something from others, maybe give some of it to them first - it feels good.
ARE YOU ABLE TO HELP VICTORIAN TEACHERS?
Chris Harte of Unstuck Learning Design and Summer Howarth of The Eventful Learning Co. have started a Google Doc to help Victorian teachers who are after support. If you are interested in putting your name in to assist your colleagues in Victoria with resources or other help, click on this link to get to the Google Doc and put your details in.