My blog this week is not so much a blog as a love letter to everyone working in education. I know it isn’t a bottle of wine or a basket of chocolate chip cookies, but it is an acknowledgement of the work that got you here, and the mountains still left to climb.
You did an amazing job getting ready for today! It wasn’t just like every other year, but there was a comfort and normalcy that comes with going to school that the kids needed so desperately.
I know it feels like there isn’t a lot of time for teaching between constantly trying to physically distance students (about as easy as keeping a container full of magnets apart), hand washing/sanitizing and trying to teach all the new protocols, but it will get easier.
You will settle in to this year and remember what it means to be a classroom, a community, a family together again. You are there for your students, you will help them to make sense of their experiences and the world around them. You will help them grow.
No, it won’t be perfect. You aren’t going to be capable of all of the impossible tasks that you are being asked to do. You will do your best and your students will do their best. There will be good days and terrible days, in this way, it will be like every other year.
You are allowed to be exhausted, overwhelmed and a little sad. Try to treat yourself with a little extra love and care right now, because emotionally this has been a wild roller coaster and it’s hard to tell how many hills, loops and curves are still yet to come.
Please know, educators, that what you are doing right now is hard. You are walking a tricky line between what everyone wants school to be and what is actually possible in a learning, classroom environment.
In between the washing, sanitizing, and distancing, take a little extra time this year to talk to the kids about your covid experience and listen to theirs.
As humans, we are pack animals. We need to belong. Feeling a meaningful connection is just about the most important thing we ever have in our lives. Literacy, numeracy and physical safety are crucial, but connection is the key that unlocks the magic that can infuse our lives with joy and meaning.
Thank you for the hard work and dedication that you have shown in getting ready for today. Thank you for the kindness and caring that you have for your students.
Please keep sharing your joys, ideas and compassion with your students. I know it seems impossible, but this too shall pass.
Take care of yourself and each other.
With love and respect,