We all have “our people.”
Our family. Our friends. Our coworkers. Our sports teams. The people we associate with that have the same hobbies as we do.
Right now my heart is with my teacher people. My coworkers and all of the other teachers I see on Facebook that are stressed out and worried right now because they have no idea what’s going on or what education is going to look like for the next few days, weeks, or months.
I see the posts about virtual education and what does that mean? What will it look like? What is expected of me? How will I do it? How will my students do it? How will I know if I’m doing it right? What if the kids need help? What if the parents need help? What if they don’t have enough resources? What about what is going on in these children’s homes that is so much more than curriculum?
What is happening right now is. not. easy.
It’s overwhelming and confusing and scary.
And us teachers, we like to have our ducks in a row. We plan. We organize. We prepare. And then we plan, organize, and prepare some more. When those kids walk in our room, We. Are. Ready.
For the most part. Most days. (Well, let’s be real.)
But even on the days when we are not on top of our game, we know what we are doing. We know what we are going to do and how we are going to do it. We know what books we are teaching from, what power points we might be using. We know we will use the smart board and whiteboards and AR and Reflex and Compass and small groups and follow IEPs and when recess and lunch is and when we will be teaching math and when whole group comprehension is happening and read aloud is at such and such a time and grammar will be after lunch followed by phonics and so and so goes to social group at 1 and the other students go to language therapy at 1:30 and differentiated math groups take place before dismissal….
And that’s on our worst days.
Well, we don’t even know what to ask. To think.
Are we still teaching from the same curriculum? Are we doing live videos? Recorded? Worksheets? Are we creating online content? Google sheets? Using google classroom? Using things I have never heard of or dreamt of?
How do I do small groups and differentiate and meet IEP goals and complete MTSS tracking?
I could type a million more questions but you are already thinking of them yourself and my friend, we need to stop. Stop.
Take some deep breaths. For real, right now, take 5 – 10 deep breaths. The rest of this post will wait. In and out, calm down. Breath in for five, hold for five, breathe out for five. Close your eyes.
What you do every day for your students is your best.
And some days you are a freakin rock star. I mean, you could be recorded and shown for professional development. And other days, admit it, you barely get through the day because it’s a rough day. Maybe you weren’t feeling good or something happened in your personal life, whatever. And still, you are a great teacher. It’s the nature of the game.
This is just like that. You are going to give your all. You are going to do the best you can with what you’ve got. You know that. You’re just scared or worried because you don’t know what’s coming or what it’s going to look like, but you KNOW you are going to give it everything you have.
You will do your best. And whatever that looks like, it’s going to be enough. It’s going to be more than enough. You are going to be amazing. You are a hero to your students. And as soon as they hear your voice or see your face or see your messages… whatever it looks like… it will instantly settle their little souls. It will be a moment of normalcy for them. Their teacher is there. The world may be going crazy, but their teacher is still there for them.
They will smile. Their shoulders will subtly relax. They may sigh in relief. They were worried about missing school, about not seeing you, about not leaving their house. They have been scared and confused but this, this is a little bit of normal in their life. This is their teacher.
They will read and practice comprehension. And probably complain about it, too. They will do math and grammar and maybe social studies and science. It won’t be the same as being in school, but it will be something and they will feel connected and not so alone. They will have access to one of their heroes and that will mean more than anything else. That will mean more than the work, the reading, or the math.
By connecting with you, they see the world continues to go on. They are not alone. They are not isolated. They are connected. There are people who still love and care for them. There is someone beyond their four walls they can count on.
What will virtual learning look like? As far as curriculum and content – who knows? But that has never been the most important part of teaching anyway! It’s the relationship and the love and connecting with students that matters the most and that, my friends, is something that you can and will do with ease. With ease and with love and with passion.
So please, let go of some of your worries. It will fall into place. We will learn a new way of teaching curriculum. There will be a learning curve and just like always we will be there for each other and help each other and we will do our best.
But let go of the worry. Focus on the kids and the relationships and do what you do best. Connect & love & be the hero you are. You will continue to make a difference in the lives of your students in a new and most impactful way during these scary times!! It’s going to be Ok. And you are going to be an important part of what makes it ok for the students.