So much has changed over these last eight weeks. Week one saw our staff and students returning from a well-earned summer break, rested and refreshed. Now our world and the media are filled COVID-19 related information and and there are vast changes to what we know as school life, and life in general.
In my last blog, I discussed how staff and parents, as the adults in the community, need to role model a calm and measured approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have a duty of care to our children and students and must talk and act in a responsible and supportive manner to ensure that we support their mental wellbeing and do not create unnecessary strain and stress for them. The best approach is to educate them in a manner that is age-appropriate and responsive to their developmental needs.
This week, I will to share some of the heartwarming community responses I observed in our Trinity community last week. If we all unite in this crisis and continue to demonstrate kindness and service, our children and students will grow to model these behaviours as adults.
I came across a staff member sharing a tribute her sister wrote to the children’s teachers. Many of our college parents will identify with this sentiment. With the permission of the writer, I have copied it below.
“Sometimes in these anxious times we forget to say thank you, so I just wanted to say a really big thank you to you:
Thank you for continuing to educate my child during these uncertain times
Thank you for keeping a level of normality in my child’s life during these uncertain time
Thank you for listening to my child and helping them to deal with the anxiety that can come with these uncertain times
Thank you for teaching and doing your best to uphold the hygiene requirements in our current environment
Thank you for keeping me up to date with changes at the school in this ever changing environment
Thank you for allowing me to attend work and care for my 30 staff during these uncertain time
Thank you for allowing me and my 30 staff to attend work and care for our 500 small business clients who are very concerned about their futures
Thank you for allowing our 500 small business owners to do their best to keep their business running and keep their approx. 7000 staff employed
Thank you for allowing those 7000 staff attend work to keep the greater Australian economy turning
Thank you for ensuring our health care workers are available to look after our loved ones
Thank you for doing your part to help protect our “at risk” loved ones”
Last Friday, a college mum delivered care packs to the college main administration building staff as an expression of her gratitude for the hard work our college staff are doing to calm the students and for maintaining a sense of normality in their lives. Most importantly, she recognised that the college staff do not have the luxury to work from home at will. The care packs contained essential oils amongst other calming agents. The was also a diffuser which we will put at the main reception to remind us that our parents appreciate and care for each of the college staff.
Over the weekend, I read a Facebook post by our fearless and ever supportive P&F President, Lea. She helped to make connections that would facilitate the delivery of meat packages to families under a 14-day quaratine requirement due to their recent arrival back in Australia from overseas. The community support through her Facebook post reminded me community service during hard times helps to instil hope in our community and has a positive flow on effect on our mental health. Such supportive actions that focus on lifting us up are so much more valuable than those of keyboard warriors who are constantly criticising decisions made by authorities or businesses or schools, especially when they do not have all the information or expertise. Such actions are “demoralising” for all those working so hard to serve our community.
This is my salute to our COVID-19 warriors who are trying to keep life as normal as possible for all of us. I salute the government leaders and personnel, the health care workers, the emergency services, utility and telecommunication workers, pharmacy and grocery workers, pilots for cargo planes, deliver trucker drivers, public transport workers, …the list is endless. From a biased school principal’s perspective, I salute my colleagues, the College staff. I acknowledge their unwavering support and collegiality, their bravery, their care and their love for our college families as they continue to serve them during this once-a-life-time episode in our modern history. They are our unsung heroes deserving of outstanding service medals!