As we all faced the pandemic, the ripple effect across the country continues with mixed messages on what to expect. Will we go back to “normal?” What is that anyway? Everyone has a different opinion. It is not clear moving forward what will happen in education, the business world, or travel.
The vaccine is being received by many, but still, others are not sure and are not taking it. We see states lifting their restrictions, while others are remaining with regulations. There seems not to be a clear understanding if you are entirely vaccinated if you continue to wear a mask. Do you wear one mask, two, three, or none?
When you have so many uncertainties facing you, the development of a lack of hope begins. How can we help our children have hope if we may not have it? Checking our mental health and self-care is essential before we can help others. The best way to begin is always talking about it. In Schools Finding Hope at a Hopeless Time by Nora Fleming, “Research shows that hope is a measurable, learnable skill-and to feel hopeful, students and teachers have to work at it.”
Can you remember where you were when 9/11 happened? I can! I was standing in front of a classroom full of 5th-grade students. An individual came to my classroom and told me the news, I took a deep breath and knew my responsibility was to make sure I could convey the truth of what just happened, and we were safe. I spent time addressing the topic by studying other countries and cultures and building the twin towers by scale.
Helping children understand as much as we can during stressful times is critical for their reactions. It has to be unbiased, based on facts about the situation. Then they can begin to process responses—a shift in their mindset, establishing goals and capturing these days as moments. Reading the article in Edutopia called Schools Finding Hope in Hopeless Times will provide more information to support building hope. “Hope is cognition and leading motivation that pushes people to act towards their goals. It’s a skill we have to work on and one that we can grow.”-Crystal Bryce, the associate director of research at the Center for Advanced Study and Practice of Hope at Arizona State University.
I always find creative ways to engage staff and students in a solution-focused approach to any topic we discuss. I applaud this school’s efforts from a few years ago with a unique way of asking staff and students what they hope. What can you do in building hope? Please read this post and leave a comment on what you hope. Thank you for being part of the solution daily.