On behalf of our administration and staff, I would like to start by offering congratulations to students for making it to the end of the school year. I've heard from friends who work in school boards that they've had one student out of 28 show up to an online class in some classes. I'm happy to report that we've had 100% participation from our students over the last few months!
For my final reflection of the year, I thought I would write about all the things I've missed and to offer a reminder of what we all have to look forward to in the future. Here are three of the things I miss most:
1) Regular reminders that we are in the holy presence of God
When I was in university, I spent a year studying in Australia. While there, I had the opportunity to work in various school settings. While I have many fond memories, one of the things I remember most was teaching in a classroom that didn't allow any mention of God or faith; I remember how empty it felt.
One day, I happened to be at the school when a parent proposed a faith-based program to the teacher, offering to give up her own free time to come in once per week to teach the students about Christ. Unfortunately, her proposal was swiftly, but politely rejected. Up to that point at the school, I had regularly experienced a feeling I couldn't explain, where I knew something was absent. At that moment, I realized what it was. I've long reflected on how fortunate I am to work in an environment at De La Salle, where the life of faith is a regular part of being at the College.
This pandemic has brought upon that same feeling, only this time I know precisely what's missing. I look forward to returning to the school, with all the constant reminders that we are in the holy presence of God.
2) Extracurricular Activities
While extracurricular activities are mainly for students, we all enjoy and benefit from them. In fact, when we hire new teachers, one of our priorities is finding staff who are keen to participate in activities outside of the classroom with our students. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being in the classroom, and I miss teaching Math. However, some of the fondest memories in my teaching career revolve around participating in extracurricular activities. Whether attending a sold-out 100,000 seat Camp Nou with the Senior Boys Soccer team watching Barcelona beat Manchester City in a Champions League quarter-final, surfing in Orange County with the Senior Girls Soccer team or winning a silver medal at OFSAA, none of it would have been possible without extracurriculars.
After a successful season with the U14 Boys Soccer team, I was looking forward to coaching the Senior Girls Soccer team. We had a lot of potential this year, and I look forward to working with our current group for years to come. I would be remiss if I didn't mention coaching current staff members Ms. Kim and Ms. Solda, on the Senior Girls Softball team and winning a CISSA silver medal! I still have a softball signed by them as students proudly displayed in my office.
3. Day-to-Day School Life
De La Salle College has a unique energy, not often found in other schools. Visitors regularly comment on this intangible quality. Some attribute the energy to our no cell phone policy, as students are forced to talk to one another! While that may be a factor, the community aspect of our school that we all enjoy on a day-to-day basis is unique and sometimes taken for granted. While these are things I miss, I am looking forward to standing at the Farnham door, greeting students as they enter the building in the morning. Similarly, I'm eager for the chance to sit in my office and listen to the chatter and laughter outside my window from the great lawn, or the opportunity to walk to the cafeteria at lunch, and eat Gilda's food and talk to students about the exciting things going on in their lives.
I could probably go on for pages and pages about what I miss, but I'll stop here because although I missed these things this year, we have many more years to create lasting memories.
So on that note, I'd like to wish everyone a safe and restful summer, and I look forward to getting back to the school and seeing everyone on campus.