We’re in the middle of the storm right now. We’re in the act of being jostled and shaken and simply trying to keep our balance and not get swept away in the craziness of the time. We’re learning to meet remotely with those same wonderful kids we used to feed off of in our classrooms. We’re trying to find camaraderie while looking at 24 little collegial faces at our weekly staff meetings. We’re sitting in front of monitors looking as professional as ever . . . from the waist up. These are strange new times to be certain.
A question that’s been buzzing around my head lately is, “I wonder what we’ll take away from these crazy times?” If I were a betting man, which I am not, too stingy for that, I’d say there are a few things that stick.
- We see more clearly that learning isn’t confined to the classroom. We have been able to remotely educate our kids and allow them to take more ownership over their work from the confines of their own home. Many have set their own schedules up, motivated themselves to some degree and they’ve learned. They’ve learned more than simply school learning too. In their boredom many of them have learned other things – things that they have pursued outside of curriculum. They have driven some of their own learning . . . .let’s celebrate that!
- Our faith carries us through difficult time. Our faith is always central in our teaching in Catholic Schools. We pray together, we take on social justice activities and we learn about our faith in our Religion classes. It is in times like this however that our faith takes on a more personal note. We use our faith to support those in crisis and to lean on in our times of fear and frustration. While our faith is ever present, it is in these times we lean heavily on it and we will carry that strengthening onward in the classrooms when we return. We’ll be more faith filled for it.
- We’re tenacious in our pursuit of deep learning. It was fascinating to watch how ready teachers were to touch base with kids and teach. Knowing full well that our students needed us to support them emotionally, we also knew that we could still teach them. In fact, many of us knew that some of them needed the deep learning and routine that they were missing being cooped up in their homes. We knew it and we handled the combination of mental health supporter and educator – we should be proud of the balance we kept.
- Some outcomes matter more. We were forced to look carefully at the curriculum and decide what were the most essential things for kids to learn. Just that simple process allowed us to remember that all outcomes are not created equal. Some matter more. It was a great reminder. We’ll carry that on.
- It’s still all about relationship. Even when we went virtual, we still saw the need to do those special little things to connect. We had crazy hat days. We had on-line recess. We connected one on one. We knew that at the end of the day, the relationships we formed in our classrooms were even more important now that we couldn’t connect face to face. I think we’ll appreciate that even more now.
- We miss each other. Not sure about you but I miss face to face conversations. Seeing a person in the light of the real world is not comparable to seeing them on screen. I need to feed off the energy of some of my peeps. Kids need that too. They need you and your energy to feed their souls. We’ll remember how important that is because we know how hard it was when we couldn’t connect as readily.
- Hair dressers matter – no elaboration here . . . nuf said.
I know that there are many other lessons learned that occurred during this interesting time. I’m interested in hearing what your take aways are. I know I’ve simply scratched the surface.
Remember how much you matter!