You are here

Blog: Saturday, December 19th, 2020

Voices of Hope

By Dr. Kevin Godden, Superintendent of Schools

With Winter Break on the horizon, I have begun to see some predictable mental fatigue creep into what has been a momentous fall in our education system. Teachers, students, support staff and administrators have risen to the occasion in our province to punctuate the importance of a thriving education system on the overall wellbeing of society.

It has not been without its challenges. We have seen COVID-19 case counts rise in our communities, and by extension, in our schools. We have seen more students and staff staying home if they are not well (which is a good thing). And, we have seen pandemic fatigue results set into our communities as tensions rise over things like mask-wearing. 

Through it all, we have also seen a level of system resolve like never before. Our students tell us they love school and want them to stay open. Our teachers tell us that they have come to really appreciate their profession's fundamental importance and how much the children fuel their energy. Our support staff reminds us of the power of the team in pulling together. Our principals and vice-principals remain ever attentive to their student's and staff's wellness as they steer their schools forward.

With Christmas almost here, I want to share a message of hope as we begin our break, one that comes from our staff and students. One of the questions I have been asking our staff and students of late is this:

What have you observed this fall that gives you hope for a brighter future for teaching and learning in our schools?

Here are just a few of the answers I have received:

  • The resilience of students and teachers.
  • Students adapting to find new ways to do important things.
  • Seeing the joy on teachers' faces when they are with students.
  • Our perseverance with new technologies and our willingness to try something new.
  • How students and staff have embraced new challenges.
  • Being truly connected with my teachers.
  • A realization of how important school is to society as a whole.
  • The school coming together to celebrate Christmas in a new a unique way… with lots of smiles.
  • Increased appreciation for the importance of health and safety.
  • The value of education by itself and the role we play.
  • Kindness and understanding of each other.
  • Our focus on mental and physical wellness.
  • The compassion and kindness that staff and students have shown one another.

I hope that this holiday season brings each of us an opportunity to (safely and virtually) spend time with loved ones and to recharge so we can continue to do the vital work of uplifting our children. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

By Dr. Kevin Godden
Dr. Kevin Godden
Dr. Kevin Godden

By Dr. Kevin Godden, Superintendent of Schools

Kevin has been the Superintendent of Schools for the Abbotsford School District since July 2011, overseeing some 19,000 students and 2,500 employees. Kevin is committed to student success in all forms and envisions a school district that can nimbly respond to the ever changing needs and interests of its students.