It is putting it mildly to say that this is not an ordinary school year. Rightfully so, many teachers are feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. If you are one of them, keep reading, because I want you to know that it’s okay. It is okay to feel stressed and overwhelmed, but I want to remind you that this too shall pass, as all seasons do.
Fall is in full swing. Leaves outside are changing colors. The air is crisp- but not too cold. The sun is bright – but not too bright – just how I like it.
But Fall is just one season, and seasons do not last forever. They come, and they go to bring on the next season and its special moments. I encourage you to think about this time as simply a season in passing. It will not always be like this. For most of us, teaching looks different than it ever has before. This is good and bad. During this season, there are many things that we have learned about education inequities, trauma, racism, and digital learning. We must hold on to those lessons. So, while some things will go back to normal, other things should never go back to what we did before March. Embrace this season and help your students embrace this season as we prepare for the next.
Consider these thoughts as we embrace our current season:
- Trust yourself and your intuition. If demands feel unreasonable, then they probably are.
- Create boundaries for yourself and your time. Set limitations!
- Celebrate your personal and professional growth during this challenging time
- Resist the pressure to perform at optimal levels when we are not working in optimal conditions.
- Commit to learning something new that can help you to grow
- Give yourself grace and compassion because you deserve it.
You may feel like everyone else is trying to replicate our old routine. We are trying to force teaching and learning to look like it has been like in the past. The methods that school systems are using now, whether hybrid or completely virtual learning – are hard. It is the response to our current crisis, but anyone who says this is ideal is not being honest or is far removed from what is happening in schools. Schools and teachers are doing their absolute best based on the current situation. As I look through my teacher and parent lens, I have thought, “This will not be good for anyone.” I thought this back in March, back in July, and now in October. I’m still thinking about it! …and I bet I’m not the only one.
You are not alone. Remember what I said earlier about seasons and their passing? Every season has its purpose, including this one. So, while things may be challenging and overwhelming, continue to remember the next season is coming. Let us take all we’ve learned and commit to helping ourselves, and our students grow and get better each day.
If no one has told you today, thank you for all that you do for children.