From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.
As we begin another term of Remote Learning, and in the lead up to the examination and assessment period, particularly for Year 12, it is important to acknowledge that it has been another challenging month or so in an 18-month period that has been out of the ordinary. Despite the challenges, your sons (in the small sample size of my classes) have demonstrated resilience and optimism in response to the unpredictability and the disappointments. We also appreciate the continued support of the School community.
Nonetheless, my colleagues and I are aware that things may begin to fray a little for some of the boys and young men of Trinity. With the extension to the lockdown earlier this week, the relentless media coverage of COVID-19, Delta strain, the disruption to the traditional rhythms of the School and the prospect of a longer than expected return to ‘normal’, it would be unsurprising if there was an effect on the mood of our community.
It is important to acknowledge that your son(s) and daughters may be experiencing heightened emotions, sometimes when we are not expecting it, and sometimes in otherwise resilient young people. While it is normal to experience a range of feelings, and we can’t expect to be happy all the time, we do want to encourage you to continue to check in with your sons, and to be reassured that if your son is struggling, there is support available.
If you sense your son needs support, if you notice he is not his usual self, or if he verbalises that he is struggling with his emotional health, it is important to keep open lines of communication in your family and with the School. Encourage him to talk with a trusted adult, a family member, his Housemaster or confidentially with one of our School Psychologists (9581 6035). You may even point him in the direction of some of the online services where he (and you) can speak, anonymously if you choose, to a trained professional. For example, he (and you) can e-chat with e-headspace (1800 650 890) or you can talk with someone at the Kids Helpline (1800 551 800). At Trinity, we encourage your son to speak openly with the people in his support network about how he is feeling, to continue to engage in activities, and to maintain his social and family connections.
The challenges of 2020 and 2021 will pass, and when our young people look back in the rear vision mirror of history, they will have gained some of the perspective that comes with age and experience. However, if the natural volatility of adolescence leads to nihilism or existential angst, the support and perspective must be provided by the adults.
Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill
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