It is quite a time to be a teacher.
It is quite a time to be, well, anything or anyone. Our country is upside down, institutions and organizations that we have relied upon are gone or at least shuttered for the time being. Major events that have marked the passage of time from winter to spring for my 54 years on the planet have been canceled.
Much of the time, I feel lost, disconnected.
People are out of work, our public discourse is out of whack, and our schools are physically out of session for at least the next month. Teachers are being asked to completely shift from everything that we were doing to something that is, for me, completely new. And scary. And somewhat overwhelming. Actually, a lot overwhelming. Teaching is a tough job under the best of circumstances.
These are not the best of circumstances.
Our communities are scared and hurting, as are our schools, parents, and students. We, teachers, are hurting, too. But, we need to lead. If we have paid any attention to the lessons that we have delivered throughout our careers, we should realize that we don’t have a choice, we move forward. We move toward the chaos, because our students need us to. We have the responsibility of being the “adults in the room”. We are the interface between everything that is happening and the children that we serve. Maybe “firewall” is a more apt description right now. If we don’t step forward, who will?
We know our duty, but the question lingers, how?
We need to break this thing down into manageable pieces. We need to be humble. We need to realize that there are going to be many questions that we aren’t going to be able to answer, at least not immediately. We need to have faith in ourselves and our colleagues. We need to rely upon each other for help, and be ready to help each other out. Even when we don’t have a freaking clue as to how. Especially when we don’t have a clue. Just like in class, when everything hits the fan, we move forward. Because this is what we do. We “take the temperature” of the classroom, we formatively assess. We don’t look at what a child can’t do, but what they can do, and then build from there. We monitor, and then we adjust. We plan, and then we improvise, and then we improvise some more. We are experts at assessing what is needed, and then quickly bringing up our reinforcements to join the battle. We do this every single day.
Every. Single. Day.
The venue has changed, massively, perhaps permanently. In the days ahead, it is going to change in ways that we can’t even imagine right now. We will meet these challenges the way we always have, by prioritizing the welfare of our students. We were made for this. All of us. We got this.
This microblog post was a featured post in #slowchathealth’s #microblogweek. You can search for all of the featured posts here. Please do follow each of the outstanding contributors on social media (including Scott Stemple, the author of this post) and consider writing a microblog post of your own to be shared with the global audience of slowchathealth.com