Courage and Determination

Covid19 has brought us many challenges this year, and at Berwick Grammar we have used our wellbeing themes to start conversations about the kind of habits, mindsets and tools we can use to bolster our wellbeing during periods of challenge.

In Term 2, we embraced Humour as a way to lighten the difficult load, sharing things we found funny, being introduced to Humour across different generations and using this as a conversation starter with those family members we could only see virtually during the first Lockdown.

We approached Term 3 more hopeful – but still chose a Wellbeing Theme that was centred around things that help during hardship – Purpose. And Purpose served us well – it helped us keep in mind the “big picture” and the reasons behind the sacrifices we Victorians made as a community as we entered lockdown again.  Once we realised it would be a term that many of our students would have to undertake entirely online, that connection to Purpose became even more important.

We also used it as a wonderful opportunity to look at our purpose as a learning community – what does it mean to be a student of our school?   Many interesting conversations were had about this – and they continue as we implement students’ ideas into culture walls that will be displayed around the school.

I acknowledged in my last assembly speech for Term 3 that there may in fact be more hard times ahead, going into Term 4. I am unashamedly an optimist – but I like to think I am an optimist who is also realistic.  Although numbers have definitely reduced, and the Senior Students (and pleasingly, all Junior School students and students in Year 7) returned to school in Week 2, we still have only a loose date for the return of the students who have been learning remotely for the longest period of time.

For this reason, and to help support and bolster our Year 12 cohort going into final exams, our Wellbeing Theme for Term 4 is Courage and Determination.  These are two qualities that will once again help to see us through the end of what has been, a uniquely challenging year.

Courage is the accessing of our inner reserves, where we find the core of who we are.  It helps us to move forward, to invest in new things and imagine new ways to finishing this astonishing year.  It is similar to the character strength of bravery.  This week in Mentor groups students were exposed to the formidable Jocko Willink, an ex-Navy SEAL and his stratightforward ideas about courage and taking a step forward… you might be interested in this short video here:

Jocko talks about Courage here, but also about Determination. Determination is the drive to make things happen, to conquer adversity and not let anything get us down.  These are useful discussions to have in times like these.

This Wellbeing Theme will also allow us to have a number of useful Wellbeing Challenges – including using these qualities to look at our habits and what helps us formulate positive habits.  We’ll be setting that as a challenge during Pastoral Care sessions this term as well, and tapping into our related character strengths of Bravery and Perseverence to help us see the positive qualities that already exist within.