Every year at the start of Quarter Three, the CCH staff gets a gentle reminder from Mrs. Koran that we are heading into the toughest segment of the school year. Besides the bipolar weather and time change (the bad kind of time change), it’s also the toughest quarter because we are so busy, and summer break is still a long way off. While basketball certainly has a large hand in the insane busyness of CCH during March, it is only a portion of what is making us drained. The NBA has got NOTHING on us. Henceforth, the term “March Madness” is only appropriately used to describe CCH.
We have basketball playoffs, curling playoffs (earning a provincial banner, too!) and Grade Nine orientation. We have the CCH musical, the High School Blood Drive Challenge and registration for next year. (I’m willing to bet I’ve missed something in that list.) All of these activities reach their apex at the same time, even though they have been building for months. It seems that everywhere you look, staff and students alike are exhausted.
So what’s a school to do when we’re all taxed?
We remind ourselves of the little things that keep us going every day.
I asked some CCH staff members to share what cool/new things they’re doing to help keep spirits up.
Mrs Polec: One of my “coping mechanisms” is that I TRY (key word) to set aside time near the end of the day and think to myself, “What went well today and who was responsible?” Whether that person was helpful/kind to me personally, or did something to make that particular day in March more bearable, is typically how I decide on “who was responsible”. Then, I go seek him/her out and let him/her know that I was particularly grateful for whatever they did for that day.
Mr. Folkerson: I let Mylanda Miller teach one section of my (Math) lesson yesterday. It was a nice change of pace and she’s a natural. 🙂 I’m also going home at Flex time, when I can, to chill out.
Mrs. Yawney: My K and E kids are doing the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge. We have completed five challenges to date and will be working on our sixth at Flex (getting students to sign a pledge to lower their energy consumption). It is a very fun, well organized activity and we have a chance to win some great prizes!
Mr. Reichert: I’ve started doing some Robotics programming again with my morning class on Campus West.
Ms. Goble: In New Media, we make a Spirit Moment every quarter and in English 10-2, my students are earning two extra CTS credits by doing media projects which coincide with the English curriculum. Both of these projects are the “carrot” to get through some of our regular work.
Mrs. Kirkvold: I provide my Social Studies students with opportunities to learn the value of empathy. We use a strategy of “Free Fall Writing” to share our feelings in a personal way. After viewing a video or reading a segment, without talking, we immediately write our feelings onto a piece of paper. Sometimes these are an exit slip, but most times they become crumpled balls used in target practice.
Mrs. Hartman: A new assignment I’ve had my English 10-1 students is a personal inquiry project that is a “social experiment”. The students make one small alteration in behaviour (for positive change) and log about their experiences. I’ve had students smile at strangers for an entire week, help their parents around the house without being asked, bond with their younger siblings, or give up social media. It provided some beautiful reflection time for them, and they became cognizant of the very real, positive change they can make in their own, and others’, lives.
Mr. Wilson: Every Monday for the past few weeks I’ve had my Physics students send a positive text message to someone in their circle, whether it’s a family member or a friend. I’m calling it “Make Someone’s Monday”.
I know you’re weary CCH, but this is the “good” kind of weariness. Look at all of the wonderful things you are accomplishing! You are ALL amazing.
You deserve some deep breaths. Take care of yourself, stand tall, and be kind and patient with one another.
Remember: what we do at CCH is very, very good.
Mrs. Hartman is the Lead English teacher and Blog Administrator at CCH. When she’s not marking papers, you will find her writing, reading, scrapbooking, running with her dog, reading, writing, cooking, singing, and writing. Her favourite things about CCH are all of the amazing people she works with every day.