Message From the Principal

Message From the Principal

Having hope in a time of turmoil

If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking that this term has been even crazier than our previous terms with COVID! During the past couple of years, we have had many restrictions placed on our lives, from how we shop, to where we can go and who with, let alone how school happens! It was restrictive but fairly clear about we had to do – and what not!

This term, with the rampant spread of COVID, plus the ongoing weather issues (did someone mention rain?) it has probably been even more unpredictable, with significant number of our families and staff being COVID+ or household contacts. The ripples across our community have led to a level of volatility – some of our classes have felt like a revolving door of students absent and present!

After such a long period of holding it together, many are feeling weary and impatient, even irritable. Some feel weighed down by the ongoing uncertainty.

To navigate such times, we need a sense of hope. Hope may seem very vague, but it has been researched as a part of positive psychology. Charles Snyder, one of the pioneers who studied the “hope motive”, has demonstrated that increased hope is linked to positive academic and athletic performance, physical health and wellbeing. But what is hope?

According to Snyder hope is made up of 3 elements –

  1. Setting goals
  2. Developing strategies to achieve the goals, including alternate pathways when things go wrong
  3. Feeling a sense of agency, or choice, that helps you persevere and actually achieve your goal.

The goal centres your actions, but a person needs to work out how to get there, and then what to do when there are barriers or blockers. This sense of having choice helps them stay positive so they persist.

To help your child navigate such times encourage them to ask the following questions:

To develop pathways – ‘What is going on?’, ‘Where do I want to go?’ and ‘What is stopping me?’

To create agency – ‘Which strengths can I use to achieve my goal?’, ‘Which aspects of my current situation work to my advantage?’, and ‘When was I successful in similar situations in the past and why?’

Whilst it’s important to help individuals create a more positive approach to life and have a sense of their capacity to make choices, that can only take you so far. Trusting that the loving God of the universe has your life in His hands creates an even firmer foundation of hope and purpose in life. When things are out of our control, when the floods and fires – or COVID – hit, we can control our response to such circumstances, but knowing that nothing is beyond God’s capacity to fix, that His love is bigger than all we face, helps us walk through our difficulties with steadier feet and a steadier heart, even when the troubles seem unending. Jesus is bigger than this bug, bigger than these devastating floods and the war in Ukraine. Through Him we can have hope and stillness in the midst of all the chaos we may face.

Have a wonderful break and take time to celebrate the great gift of life we received and remember at Easter!

Mrs Megan Hastie