In a field west of Edmonton sits local grade one teacher Lesley McMillan.

“Right now its about taking a little bit of time to do something that is a bit removed from all of that noise” says McMillian. 

Days before she joins thousands of teachers from across Canada headed back to classrooms, McMillan has found her own personal way to stay balanced.

As in setting up an easel in a quiet field filled with weeds and flowers. And using a brush and paint to capture the moment. 

“The act of painting is very therapeutic for me, I get so involved with what I am doing that I feel very grounded. I go into a different space and when I come out of that I feel like I have more energy, I feel like my bucket is full, and then I can then go on and work on filling other peoples buckets”

With so many questions about students and staff being safe, the third year educator believes staying calm and centred in the days before September is the best way to help her students and herself adjust.

“That’s really an important thing for me is to make sure I take care of myself so that I can take care of people around me.”

McMillan knows painting landscapes might not be for every teacher worrying about what happens next month, but she hopes everyone getting prepared for what’s sure to be the most unique school year in memory, finds something to help them stay grounded. 

“It’s really important to try and find a little bit of balance and take some time for yourself and take care of your own mental health so you can be there for the students... and you just got to do your best right? We are all just going to try to do our best with the circumstances”