Monday will mark the first day of the last week before Christmas holidays. Five more days and schools will close their doors for the annual Christmas vacation. There will be many excited children this coming week and probably a few staff as well. Unfortunately, there will also be some students whose behaviour will escalate because of the upcoming holidays. We sometimes forget that for some children, school is the safest place in their lives and going home for the holidays and away from their normal routine causes extreme bouts of anxiety and stress. I ask that you be especially patient this coming week to support all those whose excitement might be a little higher or their moods be a little darker than usual.
I also recognize that this time of the year can be challenging for some staff members. Christmas gatherings can remind us of lost loved ones or sick or absent family members or just dynamics and conflict that occurs during this season. We tend to forget that there is always a story behind the smile or the frown, the laughter or the tears. I would also ask that just as you are patient with those students in your buildings you are patient with each other. As Advent is the season of hope, I pray that you bring your hope and your light to those most in need.
Today, amid so much darkness we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. – Pope Francis
The year 2017 has almost come to the end and as most of us do, we like to reflect on our year. It is always easy to list the things we didn’t do but I would challenge you to change your thinking and reflect on all that you’ve accomplished this past year. Sometimes we minimize or trivialize what we’ve done, yet it is often those smallest gestures that have the greatest impact. Don’t ever forget the impact you can and do make on your students, colleagues and community.
Enjoy the blessings of the upcoming Christmas season. Take time to celebrate the coming of the Christ child, time to pray and reflect and time to rest and relax. May God bless you and your family with a joyous Christmas. Have a great last week of school and see you in 2018!!!