April 26 – PCS Weekly Bulletin #6

Communication

In my last bulletin, I mentioned that ideally communication should be two way.

Over the next several weeks, we’re hoping to produce a number of short videos that respond to your questions. The first one is now available.

This week we respond to:

  • “Why Google classroom?”, “What about other technology?”
  • “Has the school accessed government assistance programs?”
  • “What about staff layoffs?”

This past week we’ve also been phoning parents and asking several questions:

  • “How are you doing?”
  • “Is there anything we can be praying for?”
  • “What’s working?”
  • “What could we be doing better?”
  • “Anything else?”

As a school, we’re committed to listening.

If you’d either like to either pose a question for our next q and a video or engage in a telephone interview around the five questions, please let us know by emailing:

secondary@pacificchristian.ca (Yes even if you’re an elementary parent. 😊)
Past postings, as well as information regarding educational continuity at PCS is available at: mypcs.ca

Some Reflection

As we’ve walked this journey of pandemic, many have mused that the process is akin to a kind of trauma. As Christian Educators, we ponder the impact it is having and will have on the children we work with. One of the things about trauma is that different people process it differently. For some, the pandemic serves and will serve as a significant trigger. Moving forward we need to be cognizant that the impact of this time will vary from person to person – and from child to child in our care.

About 50 years ago Elisabeth Kubler-Ross published On Death and Dying, a pivotal work that popularized the fives stages model of grief (which has also been widely applied to trauma).

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

Although it’s debatable whether Kubler-Ross ultimately held that grief (or trauma) was processed in a linear progression from denial “this can’t be happening1” to acceptance, it’s clear that in the application of the model today most believe that people move back and forth between stages and may even experience more than one at the same time. This has certainly been true of both my own processing of the pandemic and those I’ve had conversation with.

I found it interesting thinking about trauma processing as I read an article by the Pew Research Center on the psychological impact of Covid. Although the data for the study is from March, I suspect that the point it illustrates would remain true today (and in Canada). People are having a wide range of emotional responses – and importantly these responses are varying from day to day. Also while there is a wade range of emotional impact,  a significant majority are feeling concern for the future at least some of the time.

Christian education is ultimately about lives and people. As we move through this, I think it’s incumbent on each member of the PCS community to remember this range of personal impact as we seek to be Jesus to those we work and have connection with.

A screenshot of a cell phone

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As a Christian, one of my ponderings about the pandemic is why? God is sovereign. At some level, he’s allowing this to happen. Any answer I try to form seems hollow. As a PCS leadership team, we’ve started working through some of Henri Nouwen’s musings in Turn My Mourning into Dancing: Finding Hope in Hard TimesI’ll leave you with a couple of his thoughts from the introduction – knowing that each of us is processing this differently.

“And I wonder again, as perhaps we all wonder when grief hits hard and hurts us deeply: Why did such a thing happen? To reveal God’s glory? To remind us of the fragility of life? Or perhaps to deepen the faith of those who carry on? It is hard to answer Yes when everything seems so dark….

The hardships we all endure require more than words, of course, even spiritual words. Eloquent phrases cannot soothe our deep pain. But we do find something to lead and guide us through. We hear an invitation to allow our mourning to become a place of healing, and our sadness a way through pain to dancing. Who is it Jesus said would be blessed? “Those who mourn” (Matt. 5:4). We learn to look fully into our losses, not evade them. By greeting life’s pains with something other than denial we may find something unexpected. By inviting God into our difficulties we ground life—even its sad moments—in joy and hope. When we stop grasping our lives, we can finally be given more than we could ever grab for ourselves. And we learn the way to a deeper love for others.”

Blessings,

Darren Lewis
Superintendent, Pacific Christian School