If I had to sum up my week, I would say it was mostly a failure:
- I struggled getting all learners following the lesson
- Not all remote learners joined me on Zoom
- In-person learners struggled to log on to their Chrome Books
- The wind knocked over my TV and it broke
- I didn’t get to all the lessons I planned
- I didn’t charge my headset, so I yelled through my mask all day on Friday and lost my voice
- I was unable to meet with my 5th Grade students as I has planned
- I messed up a small group meeting time
- I cried and complained to my family all week
Nothing goes as planned. This is nothing new. There is no way to make all parties happy. Again, this is nothing new. What works for one student, may be the complete opposite of what another student needs or wants. In our new world of tech-reliance, when one piece falls apart, it can take multiple steps to recuperate. This can be discouraging, in a way that is unbearably novel, leaving one lost, almost hopeless.
How can something, will all good intention go so wrong? I don’t know. I wish I knew.
Then, I took a scroll through the pictures I took over the week:
And, I thought for a moment…maybe it’s not as bad as I played it in my mind. Maybe, perhaps, it is all working out? It’s not the same, of course, but maybe, just maybe it has incredible potential to be even better?
We are educators. It seems this environment has stripped up of what we have trained to do. Teachers do not go into this field for money or prestige. Teachers go into the education field because we believe in our heart of hearts that we can help these students build and become something grand. We take a sapling and make it grow. We take a dahlia and give it better sun. We grab on to all the weeds that surround our gardens and we say, you count! That is teaching.
What we are doing at this moment is trying to make what is happening in the world seem normal. But, it is not normal. Orange skies, to zoom or not to zoom, minimum days, rainy days. We cannot bulldoze our way through this time in our lives. Let’s stop and recognize what is happening. Are you comfortable looking back in 10 or 20 years and saying you made it better? Or, will you say that you just survived.
Let us come forth with greatness in the face of all this adversary. What will become of the children that were taught during COVID-19. Will they be hurt from tired efforts of educators and tired administrative systems? Will they be resilient? Will they be inspired that in the toughest of times they fought for something greater? Our humanity? Our planet? And something bigger than how they kept their time.
What is the solution? Well, in this time, it simply to put the children first.
The tech issues may still loom, the schedules may change, the mix of learners may continue to oppose one another. But, if the children are at the forefront of this new wagon wheel that keeps on moving, then we my just find the kind of brilliance that we never new existed.
It is worth a shot.