Closure – Week 2

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You may have seen a quote from Seamus Heaney floating around in recent days. It is not from any of his wonderful poems but from an interview he did in 1972 regarding the troubles in Northern Ireland.  As only he could, he very eloquently and succinctly summed up the situation and his view of what we could or should do.  I ask you, for yourself and loved ones, to think about his words – what they mean to you in your current situation – and the positive outcome he predicted.
‘If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere.’
The overnight move to online teaching and learning has been challenging for everyone.  Students and teachers grappling with the new mediums of communication.  Parents wondering how to support their son. To this end we added reports to VSware to allow you to monitor your sons engagement.  This was simply added as another tool for communication from teachers to parents and not all teachers will use it or feel the need to use it.  It is not intended to be used as a ‘Big Brother’ type tool.  The best way to support your sons engagement is regular conversations and chat.  In this way you can find out where he is doing well and struggling.  Remember self directed learning is a challenge for the most experienced of students. Last week we published some advice, which can still be found on the website, around this  and central to our thoughts was the importance of  being kind to yourself through all of this.  Keep things slow, steady and simple! 

We all learn from experience and it is evident that some students are feeling under pressure with the volumes of work, and short deadlines on top of the unstructured day.  Our Easter Midterm begins next Friday April 3rd for two weeks and teachers will be asked to limit the work given to students in that period.  This is to give everyone, including you, a chance to catch breath and catch up!

Last night parents received a text from me directing them to HSE & NEPS resources to help them support their son in light of two recent tragedies in the New Ross area.  This morning every student received an email to their GCC email account to  offer reassurance around exams, online engagement, subject choices, HSE advice around Covid 19 and the same NEPS/HSE advice that you were made aware of last night.  It is a time for us all to mindful of each other.  Please check in, following HSE guidelines, with each other in our own homes but also with vulnerable and lonely family members and neighbours.

We invited Colman Noctor, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, to speak to Parents here on two ocassions in the past and he was super.  His book ‘Cop On‘ is a wonderfully simple common sense approach to dealing with the questions he most commonly gets asked.  One of his key messages is that we need to give our children a real ‘sense of perspective‘ and the most important part of that is recognising  ‘that it is not the event but the reaction to the event that matters’. In these unusual times it is our reaction, old and young alike, that matters, so let us all listen to the advice of the HSE, look after our loved ones, do our best with our studies/work and let others manage the things we can not control.

Stay safe and hopefully we will all be back in the College on April 20th.

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