I think teachers are doing what we’ve always done — we’ve taken what we’ve been handed and we are making sure that our students get the best educational experience possible. And we are continuing to stay up late at night, trying to figure out how to make that happen. We don’t want our kids to get the short end of this pandemic and lose out on things that they have a right to, things that they so desperately need. –Neshonda Cooke (Time Magazine, August 2020)
We first chatted about what educators had learned during the spring of 2020 in a #g2great chat back in July. Recently, #g2great followers revisited the lessons learned by educators in the first weeks of the 2020-2021 school year. Much has happened, much has changed as a result of the pandemic and teachers are reflecting, collaborating, creating in order to make the current learning environment optimal for all kids.
There’s been much to lament about during this pandemic, but there have been equal amounts of moments to celebrate. The job that teachers, administrators and support staff are doing is worthy of praise. It is even more amazing that in the midst of all the difficulty, teachers are still pursuing learning for themselves in order to improve online, hybrid and face-to-face learning for their students.
We’ve known for years that academic needs of students are not the only concerns teachers consider when planning. The pandemic has brought attention to the fact that in educational settings, whether F2F or online, that social/emotional needs of kids must be a priority.
It’s been both heartbreaking and awe-inspiring to see how teachers have risen to the multitude of challenges brought on by the pandemic. In spite of personal, family, health and staffing issues, teachers have persevered in planning, teaching, assessing, building community for their students. Let’s be real–that’s what teachers always do, regardless of the situations that arise.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation that is causing stress and uncertainty. However, there are steps that school leaders can take to foster health and well-being in themselves and their school communities. Keep in mind that recovery from a crisis takes time and may not happen in a linear fashion—especially during a pandemic that does not have a discrete, known end. Awareness, balance, and connection can help! Set and celebrate achievable goals and celebrate the resilience of the great people in your school who go above and beyond as they support and help others in times of crises. (National Association of School Psychologists (2020). Coping with the COVID-19 crisis: The importance of care for the caregivers: Tips for administrators and crisis teams.)
There is no precedent for the times we are living in at the moment. It’s difficult in our personal lives to navigate the changes required from day to day to attend to our physical and mental health. It’s even more challenging to be an educator and care not only for one’s self, but for a classroom (in person or virtually) full of learners. Our #g2great cadre of educators is committed to supporting one another during this difficult year. Join us each week on Thursday evening for collaboration and professional camaraderie.
We see you. We care about you.