Looking back, moving forward.

I’ve been thinking a lot about those who have influenced me both as a person and as an educator: in particular, my dad, my mom, my uncle, my grandmother, a teacher I had many years ago, and a former admin partner of mine.

They don’t know it, but they are often with me in my decision-making. Their words, their examples, and their integrity, guide me to this day.

They stand with me as I strive to educate with passion, compassion, and empathy. They stand with me as I listen to and learn from those I work with, adults and children. They stand with me as I advocate for teachers and their needs.

Looking back on this year, I know I have done my best with the circumstances before me. Might I do things differently next year? Yes. Not because I didn’t try my best, but because I’ve learned a thing or two.

One day, not so far from now, we will return to the classroom. We will bring our students to the reading corner for a read aloud. We will play a rousing game of dodgeball. We will sing and paint and laugh together. It will happen. We’ll hope for September but understand if it takes a little longer.

Before it happens though, we need a break from screens. We need to breathe the air around us, to rediscover what it’s like to be bored, to savour the long, unscheduled days ahead, to read a book unrelated to work. We need time.

I’m taking some time away from my blog this summer, too. When we return ‘together’ in the fall, we will be refreshed. In the meantime, be sure to soak up the summer sun…

We have survived!

For those of us in elementary schools, this coming week is usually one of celebrations, field trips, fun days, and farewells. This year, this last week of school will be unique. An understatement, I know. We are forced to find creative ways to reach out to our students. To celebrate their successes. To wrap up. To end the school year. To say our goodbyes.

Whatever you decide to do, and however you decide to do it, be sure to commemorate this rollercoaster of a year with your class!

Our students have survived. (Their parents have survived.) We have survived!

What are your plans with your students this week? How will you help them remember this year?

Are you tired?

It’s June. Mid-June. Mid-June during a pandemic.

Are you tired? I know I am.

The 2019-2020 school year has been one for the books! We have pivoted: worked differently than we ever have before. We have tried incredibly hard to maintain connections with our students in spite of the circumstance. In some ways we have learned as much as we’ve taught.

We have reason to be tired.

Perhaps more than ever, everyone is in need of a break… some down time… some time away from our screens.

We’re close, my friends. Very close. Hang on for a few more weeks!

Dear Students,

I’ve been doing some reflecting during this global pandemic and I have some sentiments to share with you…

Did you know that you are the reason I love my job? Your spontaneous exclamations, your joy in the simple things, your laughter, your hugs, your excitement for learning. No matter my mood coming into school, you are sure to spark a smile.

Did you know that I consider you and your classmates my school family? I care about your well-being, your emotional and physical health, your relationships. I think about you beyond the time I spend with you in the classroom.

Did you know that my favourite parts of our school day are when we are reading together, talking about books and life? Those times when I see your worlds expand, your ideas challenged, your hearts moved.

Did you know that I miss you? It’s true. I have learned not to take our time together for granted. The time on the screen does not make up for our time together in person.

And finally, did you know that you are the reason I have hope for humanity? Your kindness, your generosity, your compassion. Your acceptance and genuine concern for others. You will make our world a better place.

Actually, you already do.

With love, your teacher.