It’s been a very interesting time as a teacher over the past few months of summer. Whether you have listened to the news, followed on twitter or any social media postings about school in September, you have heard first hand the various push and pull factors of work, worry, and expectations from both side of the fence, and this has caused some strained thoughts for many teachers, educators, parents, and students in all corners in which they currently stand. Learning new terminology and preparing for various scenarios; such and hyflex or hybrid learning, can be overwhelming to some, but can also have great results with time and practice.
As parents, students, and even us as educators are so looking forward to getting back into the teaching routine, fostering positive growth, relationships, social skills, and curriculum expectations, I have found that amongst all the noise (whether meaningful or busy in preparing for such a year we have ahead) the most important element is to engage, be present, and listen.
Have we prepared ourselves and our teachers for tools and implementation strategies to have both live, virtual and asynchronous learning to happen, yes, oh yes! Do we and everyone still have questions, of course we do. Will we continue to seek out new ideas and strategies in the days, weeks (and hopefully months) ahead? Absolutely. One area in which is so important right now, which really distinguishes between a good teacher and an exceptional teacher, is not one of curriculum or digital app performance and expertise. It’s one of nurture, care, and balance.
As I sit here tonight and look through all of my save drafts in which speak to all the things I wanted to blog out about this summer and put to the side, (tools, apps, strategies, etc.) this post is the most important timely message I can share at the moment.
Time will give us experience with new tools and strategies. Practice will provide us with confidence to amalgamate two learning styles into one.
Trial and error will allow us to find the perfect balance that works for both students and the teachers.
Linear measurements to better the process for everyone.
But for now, for now, for this week, take a moment, re-connect, listen, be honest, display humility, grace, and patience. It is not what the students will learn tomorrow, next week or forward that will shape the year… it’s how they will feel.
Take time for yourselves and allow yourself time with your feelings, concerns, and questions. There is no need to know all the answers, (I know, I know, it’s hard) but it is okay to ask those important questions that will foster those meaningful and supportive answers. The purpose and importance of this, is to re-open up those lines of communication, re-establish visual and person to person trust and vulnerability, and to gain back a realism of comfort and community for both you and your students.
Celebrate every little thing to bring added joy to yourself, your colleagues, and your students.
…and if you still don’t know where to start? Take a breathe, open up the dialogue…
…and just say “hi.”