Wow, what a year! It has been a tough one for our students but also for us as adults. We can be proud of how we persevered and what we have accomplished through it all.

Wow, what a year! It has been a tough one for our students but also for us as adults. We can be proud of how we persevered and what we have accomplished through it all. That said, our kids need a break and I am sure most of them were eager for school to officially end today. The difficult thing is that as we look to the next couple of months, a time normally filled with activity and trips to help recharge and rest, it looks like our break will be filled with more restrictions and limitations.

As the virus has begun to spread and we see more and more cases, we know that we must take the steps to keep ourselves, our friends, and our neighbors safe. Social distancing, wearing masks, even limiting our going out is all part of this. The problem, though, is that if we only take steps in regards to our physical safety we forget that we must also take steps for our emotional and mental safety as well. These can be just as important as the physical measures we take.

This school break, as we take steps to be physically safe, I want to encourage us to take steps for ourselves and our children to also be emotionally and mentally safe. Just as we take intentional steps for physical safety, we need to take steps for emotional and mental safety.

So what can we do? A key step is simply being aware and intentional in this area. Think about what we can do to bring some fun and excitement into our lives. It is much harder with the restrictions but that means we need to more creative. Our kids need something to look forward to during this break. That might be a weekly movie night with popcorn and the newest hit on a streaming service, maybe a daily bike ride to explore the neighborhood together, or investing in some cool activities for them (no not video games) to do indoors. Whatever it is, the key is to be intentional and look for ways to help make the school break safe in all ways.

Here are some websites that I found with a simple search that could give you some ideas:

•    Elementary Break Ideas
•    Middle School Break Ideas
•    High School Break Ideas
•    Break Ideas for Mom and Dad

Parents don’t forget however that the emotional and mental safety is needed for you as well. The school break time can actually create even more stress and work for you as the kids are at home (and not doing school work). What intentional steps can you as parents take for your own mental and emotional well-being? In some cases that will mean getting some time away from the kids to help you rest and recharge.

I want to end the year saying thank you. It has not been an easy one for students, teachers, or parents. I am proud of the Dalat community and how we have come together during this pandemic. It is not over and there are some more tough days ahead of us but I am glad that I am a part of this community during this challenging time. As the next school year draws closer, we will begin to communicate with parents important information about the start of the year. Watch for emails and updates on our website. For now, though, I hope the school break can be safe in all ways for you and your kids.

Stay safe!

Written by Karl Steinkamp

Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Head of School since 2006.
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