Dear Faculty of Education Students, Staff and Professors,
What a difference two weeks can make. Who could have imagined the sheer scale of our transformation into a virtual university community? This vast undertaking was made possible by all of your innumerable contributions and I join Deans from across campus in expressing amazement and gratitude for your collective efforts. As a Faculty, we are still here and we are pressing forward.
To our students: Your fortitude and creativity amidst these temporary uncertainties are impressive. We recognize, however, that many of you face multiple challenges. The demands of physical distancing, job loss, unexpected moves and questions about practicum, the provincial math test, assistantships, upcoming sessions or graduation, may be weighing on you. Please know that I, my team, support staff, as well as fellow Deans of Education, are working hard to find solutions. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for updates specific to our Faculty. Personnel from the academic secretariat are also ready with answers via email for undergraduate and graduate programs. If you are experiencing financial hardship we urge you to apply for assistance from the Special Emergency Fund at email@example.com.
To our staff and professors: You have succeeded in re-establishing business as usual in distance mode at the Faculty. Despite the unique hurdles of working from home, the spirit of collaboration with which you have carried out the mission of the Faculty has infused our daily (virtual) interactions with comfort and hope. Our staff members have worked tirelessly to maintain continuity in the organization of programs, admissions, finances and other inner workings of the Faculty. Our professors have demonstrated leadership in leveraging and sharing their expertise in distance education—which has been a boon to both colleagues and to university-wide teaching staff. Kudos to all as we continue to work together on this monumental endeavour.
A final word about wellness: A walk outside, a call or video chat with family and friends, or listening to your favourite music are some simple ways to approach wellness. These are exceptional times and we all can benefit from extra measures of kindness and encouragement. I invite all members of the Faculty of Education to seek the support they need for themselves or for those in their entourage. Do please reach out.
Dean, Faculty of Education