Stressed is my New Normal but Planning Helps to Decrease it - Just a Bit

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I am a Secondary School Visual Arts teacher at St. Joseph Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario.  Although I have 30 years under my belt, this school year will be a challenge. The Covid-19 pandemic is making us all change the way we do things including teachers. We have been on searching for answers and direction for weeks now and with so little information released we are going to be hopping on and off the rollercoaster as we maneuver through the paths set by the Ministry and our school boards.

Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board sent out a Parent Survey to gather data on student learning delivery – either fully online or the adaptive model.  Both models will consist of 150 minutes of learning opportunities per course, for a total of 300 minutes (5 hours) a day.

We will be teaching in Quadmesters.  AutoCorrect on my electronic devices is learning to accept that as a word.  For the first time in DPCDSB history, students will take 2 courses over 10 weeks as opposed to 4 over 20 in a traditional semester.

25% of students will take the online route working fully from home and their teachers will teach from an assigned space in a board site. These classes will consist of students throughout the board as opposed to their local schools. The regular teacher to pupil ratio will apply.  

In the adaptive model, in order to facilitate Social Distancing, classes will be divided into two cohorts Cohort A and Cohort B, and capped at a maximum of 15 students.  Students in each cohort will attend school at least once a week per course for 150 minutes while their cohort counterpart will be at home working on the same class with academic support and in the afternoon will attend their other class online with both cohorts with academic support and synchronous learning.

The schedule for this is quite confusing as it changes daily and has an added oddball Wednesday component that alternates with each cohort getting at least two more in-class sessions throughout the Quadmesters.  I am assuming that I will be teaching in the adaptive model.

I am that kind of person who thrives by recording my ideas on post-it notes and loose papers and little notebooks – whatever is within reach.  Every art project I start has supplies laid out over all the surfaces within an arm span but as I get ready to begin the work, I consolidate all the notes and material in organized systems.  I teach this way as well and develop systems to help me and my students stay on track.

On a chilly summer day in cottage country, I started to plan out my courses. It was too cold to do anything else that morning. The Indoor/Outdoor temperature was recorded at 10 am. Luckily, it was a sunny day and the water was warm enough to remove the raft for the season. I created the following planning charts to decrease my stress. 

near algonquin park 

Temperature indoors and outside















Photos were taken August 26, 2020

Click here to grab your copy:

  1. Quadmester at a Glance with Daily Tasks in the top bar - Period 1 
  2. Quadmester at a Glance with Daily Tasks in the top bar - Period 2
  3. Period 1 - Quadmester at a Glance Detailed Colour Coded Daily Tasks 
  4. Period 2 - Quadmester at a Glance Detailed Colour Coded Daily Tasks
  5. One Week at a Time
  6. One Day at a Time (fillable Period and Cohort)


I hope you find these helpful. If you need an editable copy let me know by signing up on my email list and then, if you want a faster response, send me a direct message on

Stay tuned!  I plan to share more helpful online resources in the days to come.

Remember, we are all coping with the Pandemic in different ways.

Be kind to yourself and each other.

Share resources and ask for help when you need it.


All the Best,

Jacquie Blondin

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