Missing School……..

Many around me are worried about the impact of national lockdown on the education of their children. Our education system is merely a vehicle or system to encourage and support the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, ultimately to empower and enable our young people to stand up and be counted. It is not the only vehicle. Knowledge is important because ultimately it provides empowerment. It gives us the voice and confidence to stand up for ourselves and the others around us.

Undoubtedly there are and have been significant impacts from the three periods of lockdown over the last year that have taken their toll on the education and also on the physical and emotional development of our younger generations. It is impossible to quantify or label realistically what these impacts are or will be. We have a duty to recognise and acknowledge that the human race has always shown remarkable adaptability and resilience in the face of crisis, trauma and adversity. Perhaps we should focus on what can strengthen the resiliency of our younger generations and their families at this juncture in time instead of ruminating on that which we cannot change.

We already have much wisdom and knowledge in this field. We know what is successful and we know the value of strengthening protective factors. For many of our young, our old and probably across society as a whole it is the deprivation of quality social interaction that is causing more immediate harm than the lack of schooling. Our schools were hubs of meaningful and sometimes less meaningful interaction. It is the words that have become so much a part of our 2020’s vocabulary that are the most damaging in the long run, social distancing and isolation. Our children are probably grieving the loss of their social interactions more than the curriculum and education itself.

Hopefully we will return to some state of normalcy soon and we can begin the complex task of rebuilding and I suspect the curriculum in our schools will need significant remodelling to support the development of a strong and resilient society for our new future.

We cannot alter what has happened in the past year and we are unable to determine what the next twelve months will look like for our families, our education system our society or the world. We can focus on the strengths of our responses so far, the amazing job being done by so many families in very unexpected circumstances and give them the positive feedback and support that they deserve and need. Teachers and school support staff all over the UK are keeping regular contact with their families and doing everything they can to this end. When the dust has settled and we can see the way forward then we can look at what needs to be out in place to futureproof education system, and what needs to be done to support this current school-age generation to thrive and survive in spite of the challenges that the pandemic has brought.

© Alison Jean Hankinson

Beyond the horizon…

It had been a long journey, her feet bore the bruised hallmarks of a difficult life, but still she walked on.

She knew that even if she could not reach the rich promises of the future on the horizon she could leave footprints for those who mattered to follow.

©Alison Jean Hankinson

Walking on…

I will not falter

I will not fall

I will not bend and break

This is not your call.

 

I will stand my ground with shoulders squared

I will keep my faith even when you lose yours,

I will trust in truth and walk tall with head held high.

You shall not define me or my dreams deny.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

A final one for mental health awareness week 2018. I think this one is about getting back up again…

Willow- bend without breaking

Through the silence of the night I hear you breathing heavily, the weight of the world on your shoulders,

You have learned to love others and nurture them all as a mother

And sometimes you get washed aside in the wake of a selfless storm.

 

Do not pity me- I am no victim,

I choose to do the things I do, I don’t need their gratitude

I am their friend, their wife, their mother, their lover, the whisper of light in the dark, a comforting sound through the vacuum of silence.

 

Through the years you have drudged and toiled, cooked their meals, held their hands, made their miserable monotonous lives a little less monochrome.

You were their teacher, their challenger, you coached as their mentor

And sometimes you were lost at sea in the current of compassion and a tide of woes.

 

Do not pity me, I have no need for sympathy

I held their lost souls in the palm of my hand and gave them love and space to grow,

I kept them safe in a sheltered harbour. I may bend but don’t break. I am willow.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

The image was in the public domain from wikimedia labelled for reuse.

This is for napowrimo 2018. Day 7.

5 Ways to make it better.

Recognise accept and value the passage of time for all of us

350px-mary_martin_in_the_sound_of_music_by_toni_frissell

5 Ways to make it better-The Julie Andrews Way

  1. Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Love what you have and all that is around you, the weather, the landscape -nature. Things that are somehow bigger and beyond human.
  2. Brown paper packages tied up with strings. Try giving something as a gift to someone else you care about- a friend, a work colleague, a sibling, a partner- not for any special reason other than to make their life a little more special. It doesn’t have to be expensive- just be done with love and care like the Brown paper package.
  3. Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes. Always enjoy nice clothes on yourself and others. Free the frock..don’t leave it on the hanger because it was expensive or you bought it for a special occasion, let it out…give it it’s moment to be prettiful.
  4. Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes. Be mindful. Treasure every moment for what it is. Feel the wind and the rain. Hear the birdsong and the dawn chorus and recognise it as a moment in your own and others’ existence. Mark it, enjoy its flavour.
  5. Silver white winters that melt into springs. Recognise accept and value the passage of time for all of us. Winter gives way to spring, swelters into summer, mellows into autumn, it has a pattern and a process that is mirrored throughout life and nature.

Lyrics from My Favourite Things- Sound of Music- Rodgers and Hammerstein.1959 Don’t knock it unless you have tried it…The hills are alive….

Image from Wikipedia-Mary Martin and Children in publicity image 1959

Read more: The Sound Of Music – My Favorite Things Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Interior– I was looking at inside my mind, and today it was all quite hopeful….XXX

The resilience of trees.

 

In response to the daily prompt Photo challenge.

This is one of a stand of Kauri trees at AH Reed memorial park Whangarei which we visited last week. Kauri trees grow for thousands of years. The size is not possible to fathom without human interaction. The largest living Kauri in NZ is Tane Mahuta and he majestically resides over towards Kai Iwi lakes in the Waipoua Forest and is about 1500-2000 years old.

They are the epitome of resilience, they have survived and bear witness to time beyond our time and understanding. When you stand beneath them you are made very aware of how short our existence and life is in real terms and how our plights and pleasures are relatively insignificant when put in true perspective next to such greatness. What would they say if they could talk.

Resilient