It’s All About Attitude

Covid did a number on classrooms.

After three tumultuous school years, there was both excitement and trepidation returning to some sort of normal this year. I had an expectation that my classes would be just like they were pre-pandemic madness.

I was wrong.

There is a level of anxiety that remains among many. The toll on motivation is immeasurable. In some ways, maturity seems not to have stalled so much as to have regressed.

It is hard to engage the disengaged.

I spend hours preparing creative lessons, hoping to tear their attention away from their phones. Each day I would hope for better, but it is tough to stay motivated when they’re not.

And so I slipped into a sort of apathy, feeling like, why bother? I complained about the behaviours in my classroom, let negativity seep into my days. I could feel the weight of it in my bones. Christmas break could not come soon enough.

Then I spent those two weeks resting and reflecting. I read books, went to yoga, knitted, worked on my photography. And gave myself a talking-to.

Now we are back to school, and it’s not so bad. The behaviours haven’t changed. They’re still not motivated, and they’re still addicted to their phones. The challenges have not disappeared, and are not going to. But I realized that I get to choose how I react to a reality I have little control over. And I choose a positive attitude.

And suddenly it doesn’t seem so bad.


A Healing X-perience

Last weekend I took my daughter on a tour of my alma mater; she’s in grade 12 and deciding where she’d like to go for university.

I was excited to revisit the place I’d spent four years studying for my first degree. I hadn’t been there in over twenty years and I anticipated the memories.

Stepping onto campus after so long was surreal. The residences I’d lived in, so changed and yet so filled with memories of friendships and experiences. The old-book smell of the library with its quiet nooks took me back to hours spent researching and writing. The student union building where I’d picked up care packages from home, the student pub where I’d danced many nights away. So many things I’d expected to remember, but so many more I hadn’t.

The most unexpected part, though, was the healing. In my years of marriage, my ex had belittled my education. In my head I always knew he was wrong – it was never worthless – but a part of me had forgotten its value, had taken to heart the diminishing messages.

Returning to StFX reignited the significance of having had that experience. Of the learning and the value of an education and the importance of my degree. Of who I’ve become and all that I’ve done.

I hope you have experiences that renew your sense of self, that remind you of the value of the choices you’ve made. And that every now and then, you can take a step down memory lane.

Stories for Children


As a teacher, the thing I have always loved most was reading stories to the students.

I am on leave this year, but have done a few days here and there as a substitute. While I don’t miss the hectic schedule, I always enjoy those few moments when stories come alive. They take us to another world for a minute. Stories let us travel to places unseen, meet unique people, and engage our imaginations.

Maybe that is why I am so determined to write one…