Posted: May 4, 2020

There have been many times in my life where I wish I could push pause and rewind.  Something I did or said didn’t go according to plan, or there was a moment I missed.  I was too nervous or unwilling to take a risk.  After time passes, I usually don’t want to rewind.  The mistakes, regrets, and second-guesses all help make me who I am today, hopefully a bit wiser and compassionate.  I do appreciate the ability to pause and, hopefully, apply some lessons learned to the situation I’m in.  I’m not always very good at that, but I try to listen to Jennifer McMillan’s voice: slow your roll, and breathe. 🙂

Although in many ways we are busier than ever trying to navigate this new world, we have been given a collective opportunity to pause.  It also feels like there’s a little more grace for each other as we share this common experience together.  A pause with a little grace is pretty rare.  It’s a chance to try something new, reflect on our journey to today, and reconnect with what’s most important.  With the stress of trying to figure out all of this COVID-19, taking advantage of that pause is easier said than done.

I recently had the opportunity to meet with a ninth grade Camas High student and associate principal, Owen Sanford on a Google Meet.  The student had emailed me several times, worried about remote learning, and despite very good grades, was anxious about the future.  She asked if she could just talk with someone about it so Mr. Sanford and I set up a Google Meet.  It’s a privilege to be able to watch someone help another.  Mr. Sanford listened calmly and reassured the student.  I could see the student relax a little, smile, and breathe.  I’m not sure all of what the student will remember from her classes this spring (probably a lot given her past grades and focus :-), but I do know she will remember how Mr. Sanford helped her pause.

As we continue this spring, each day running into the next, thank you for helping students and each other find a pause.  That space you help create is such a powerful, important, and safe place.  Give yourself permission to find a pause too.  Take a deep breath, reflect on your journey, and reconnect with what’s most important.  You deserve it.

 

Have a great week!

Jeff