I had a blog post idea ready for today. It can wait until next week. The events of the last few days have been both disturbing and disheartening. Today my own words fail me: they feel inadequate. Today I have turned to the words of others to comfort me, to rediscover hope, to remind me how I can help drive change.
“No color, no religion, no nationality should come between us. We are all children of God.” Mother Teresa
“We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us.” Barack Obama
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela
“Change is never easy, but always possible.” Barack Obama
Teachers, I challenge you: stand with me and be an example. Our students are watching.
When we think about the learning that goes on in a classroom, it is typically the learning of students that comes to mind. And in our current situation, they are learning: maybe not quite what we expected, or in the same way as usual, but they are learning.
What has become especially evident during these times: we are learning, too. Perhaps even more than our students!
We are learning to use technology in innovative ways. We are learning how important it is to have connections with our students. We are learning to be resilient and flexible. We are learning that teaching is about much more than academics. We are learning to appreciate what we have previously taken for granted including simple, daily interactions with our students and colleagues. We are learning that returning to the classroom with our students will feel a great luxury.
The learning curve has been steep, unexpected, and tiring. But for the collective good, it is worth our efforts. I am looking forward to carrying my learning back into the regular classroom… whenever that might be!
What are you learning these days?
Today is a day to pay tribute to moms! This year I venture to say that most moms have been working harder than ever.
Thank you to those on the front lines taking care of many more than their own. To those working from home and simultaneously assisting their children with schooling. To those in essential services, risking their lives and sacrificing time with their own families. To those who have lost their jobs and yet continue to find ways to meet the needs of their children. To those who provide much needed comfort, unconditional love, and unending patience. To those whose strength sometimes flickers on the inside but shines bright for others.
And teachers, to you on this Mother’s Day, for the mothering that occurs in your classrooms (…or online…) each and every day. Thank you.
Considering the probable confusion and anxiety our students are feeling in our current circumstances, I immediately think of books! (No surprise for those of you who know me…)
For young children who might be feeling scared or anxious, consider The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld and I’m Worried by Michael Ian Black. For those a little older, I Am Peace by Susan Verde and What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada come to mind.
With teachers being apart from students, and students apart from friends, you may consider using The Invisible String by Patrice Karst reminding us that we are connected even at a distance.
There is also a new book from a favourite series: The Princess in Black and the Case of the Coronavirus. The online snippets I have seen are incredibly timely.
What books have you used with your students during distance learning? Any ideas for older students? Please share your suggestions. I’d love to add to my list!