According to Martin Seligman only 2% of the population are natural optimists. He argues that the rest of us need to learn optimism. I wonder how many parents fall into that rare 2% category? Worries and concerns about our off-spring are hardwired into our DNA and this trait of expecting the worst easily spills over into other aspects of our lives.
Yet understanding that we can train ourselves to think more optimistically is critical to turning setbacks into opportunities. The setbacks these last few weeks have been relentless. Every child in the school, every member of staff has had to cope with disappointments and changes well outside the norm. As we settle into our new routines, however, it is uplifting to see all the good that has come from this.
As teachers, we are joining virtual staff meetings to share our experiences of guided home learning including the incredible resilience and creativity of our students. Families are sharing the challenges of balancing their own work with supporting their children’s studies. There are so many unexpected bonuses: otherwise geographically spread families coming together during this period of social distancing; family games, walks and exercise normally only associated with holiday times; volunteering and neighbour support that can be so difficult to prioritise.
I hope that, in amongst the challenges and sadness, we can all take time to reflect and celebrate the remarkable adaptability and resourcefulness we are witnessing daily.
Kate Reynolds, Head