This has been an unusual week. How’s that for an understatement? We watched in confusion and anger and fear as event after event was modified and then canceled. It was almost impossible to keep up with the changes. Planning became more about revising, and business as usual became impossible.
Schools across the world are experiencing rapid and unprecedented change. Social distancing, a phrase most of us didn’t even know a month ago, is leading to school closures here and abroad.
So what does it mean for us, for our schools, for our students? It is indeed unprecedented.
It means that at some point this year we may be teaching online. Learning may move from face to face in a classroom to activities that can be done from home. And while we have added access to devices and professional development around digital learning and SeeSaw and Google Classroom and more engaging tools than I could name, we still rely on contact and conversation and caring to build relationships with our students.
That cannot change.
While we build lessons and make videos, while we design eLearning to teach our standards, while we employ creative assessment measures, we will also focus on our students’ emotional well-being …and our own.
Give yourself, and those around you, enormous grace in the coming weeks. Everyone is walking a new path. Take risks. Try new things. Try again when it doesn’t work the first time. This is our chance to model a growth mindset for students. They’ll understand when our Google Meet flops or our video isn’t perfect. Practice over perfection. They’ll stick with us as we try, just like we stick with them.
I don’t know what the next few weeks will bring, but I know that teachers and school administrators are resilient, compassionate, and dedicated. I know that our teams are working hard to find ways to support, nurture, calm, and yes, educate our children. Never underestimate an educator!