Every year around this time, the annual debate starts about the merits of saying “Happy Holidays” or, gasp, “Season’s Greetings”. For many, their use is an attack on Christinity or Christmas itself. In the other corner, the argument goes that these greetings are more inclusive and culturally sensitive; better for this oh-so politically correct time we live in. The topic can be highly personal, hotly debated, and tremendously polarizing.
When does a reader fall in love with reading? It isn’t the moment an individual learns to read, or even when a book is read and enjoyed. It’s that unforgettable moment when someone reads a story, article, quote, or book that transforms the reading experience, or the person doing the reading. For one member of our faculty, it was the moment she realized that individual and almost insignificant letters created words with meaning. For others, it’s a feeling that’s like coming home. It’s that book that has stayed with us and changed us somehow.
As the seasons change, it’s often a time to take stock of how we are doing, make changes where needed, and clean up - think a good old fashioned “spring clean”! Recently, you probably packed away the sandals and sunscreen and got out the hats, mitts, and boots. The snow tires are going on the cars, and, God forbid, the snow shovels are ready for action! These seasonal changes and cleanses happen because we’re being proactive and organized. It’s also a habit adults have learned to keep themselves on top of things. It feels very grown up.
As adults, many of us remember our childhood as a time spent roaming our neighborhoods, playing outdoors until suppertime, and, most significantly, a seeming lack of adult supervision. Today, many parents don’t allow their own children the same freedoms; now children play indoors, on sports teams or in organized activities, and spend a lot of time on screens. If children are outdoors, they’re typically supervised on playgrounds or in backyards. At a recent Play Outside Nova Scotia presentation, BC Children’s Hospital Risk and Injury Prevention Investigator Dr. Mariana Brussoni lamented that our overly-protected children are no longer given the freedom to self-regulate, to make decisions, engage in risky adventures, experience the natural world through all their senses, develop resilience, explore their creativity, take responsibility, or be free to just play. She suggests: “We need to remember what exhilaration feels like.”
It’s one thing to think you’re great. It’s another thing entirely for someone else to think you’re great; and what’s more, for them to tell you so. The process of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) is a bit like that. Instead of us simply telling people how wonderful our education and experience is here at Sacred Heart School of Halifax, we have an outside accrediting body attest to it. Which is, of course, much better because we tend to be a bit biased!
“This is the best day ever!” These words are music to the ears of any educator who puts considerable time and effort into thinking about and planning for the daily success of the children in their care. In our Junior Primary program, we hear these words a lot!
As a child, I loved to look through issues of National Geographic and dream about exploring all of the far-away places pictured on the pages. But it wasn’t until I was an adult that I actually got to travel. Once I did, I never looked back. In two decades, I’ve travelled to six continents and 29 countries, and I am grateful for the impact travel has had on me. As a teacher, I recognized early on that travel can be as educational as a classroom. That recognition turned into a passion that inspired me to organize and lead tours for my students at Sacred Heart, and to help support others who were looking to provide travel experiences for their communities.
The #MeToo movement, borne originally from a small group of courageous women fed up with sexual harassment, assault, and toxic masculinity, is a fascinating cultural, sociological, and perhaps historic movement. It started out small, but was quickly and vociferously amplified thanks to social media, and the growing number of women inspired by their collective outrage and a forum to express it in.
Our school is now on March Break for two weeks. This year’s Break began just after acknowledging our ‘dusty’ human condition on Ash Wednesday. Beginning the Lenten season by going on March Break feels oxymoronic. How can we reconcile the sacrificial theme of this season with the call to take a break, relax, and rest up?!
Our School recently launched the public portion of its Dare to Be Capital Campaign. It happened on Valentine’s Day, and we went out of our way to talk about how much love has been shared by our community.
You would think that at Sacred Heart, we would have had enough of the heart symbolism. But no, we embraced Valentine’s Day in all it’s pink-papered, red-hearted glory. And while we know some people love Valentine’s Day we also know a good many who hate it. But, we think any day that reminds us life is really about love is a good day. Love makes the world go ‘round after all.