It seems almost surreal that we are at the end of April and that we have been doing Emergency Remote Learning for over 6 weeks. In some ways, it feels more like 6 months than 6 weeks, in that we long for normalcy and the daily connections that we have at school.
In many ways, the routines we have created cause the days to blend into each other, and most days appear to be the same as the one before, especially since our location has not changed.
On the other hand, spring is definitely here in all it’s blooming glory; and with the arrival of May comes the yearly sprint to the finish line, which is the end of the school year. For some, this offers hope and reinvigorates us to press on. For others though, the initial enthusiasm, which came with working at home, trying new technology, and having a different kind of school has worn off. The level of motivation to excel on every task is not there and learning seems more of a chore than a joy. In other words, students (and possibly parents) are hitting the wall, so to speak.
This phrase – hitting the wall – comes from the world of sports, more specifically, those who run or cycle long distances (of which I’m sadly not one of). As marathon runners go through training and even race day, they can experience a sudden loss of energy and a greater level of fatigue. Scientifically, it is a result of the depletion of glycogen (or carbohydrates) that are stored in your body to create energy, which often occurs about ⅔ of the way through a marathon due to our reserves only having a certain amount of accessible glycogen.
There are parallels that can be drawn to the academic world when we get “writer’s block” part way through a paper, or we study until the words seem to be blurry and our mind seems fuzzy. This can also be the case for students who press through a difficult period and get to the point where they feel it’s hard to persevere. The good news though is that you can press through and “dismantle” the wall to finish strong.
Amanda Collins from Open Colleges, suggests some of the following techniques that can help us to get through the wall:
– Find the Fun: Take a break and go enjoy something you like to do
– Where is your Attention?: Focus on what’s at hand and discipline your mind to come back to it
– Do what you can: it’s better to work hard for shorter, focused intervals and complete one task at a time in smaller chunks
– Know where you are headed: find a target and then focus on getting there
– Switch it Up: change activities every hour (or less) to keep things fresh
– Short breaks and Breathe: take some small pauses and take the time to breathe deeply to relax for a few minutes
– Don’t listen to the Lies: one of the most common lies is “I can’t”, instead replace this with “I can” or “I will”
– Get out in Nature: going for walks and observing God’s beautiful creation can reinvigorate us
– Don’t aim for perfect: we get trapped in aiming for perfection, when what we should aim for is doing our best
Here is a link to the full article, if you would like to read the rest. Many of our students may recognize some of these techniques, as they align with having a Growth Mindset.
To summarize my thoughts, I leave you with the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, which says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”
Click here for my short video update for this week.
J-D Lussier, Principal