On the Other Side

This year isn’t quite what we signed up for as teachers. Masks… Sanitizing… Social distancing… The absence of reading corners… Limited opportunity for collaboration… Self-isolation…

The teaching methods and practices that we have become accustomed to during our careers (and that we took for granted, we now realize), are more challenging and sometimes in conflict with the safety protocols in place. Quite simply: we cannot always do what we used to do.

In my role as consultant, I miss my regular class visits with students. I miss meeting with teachers in person. I miss the way it used to be and it’s easy to become frustrated and overwhelmed.

To cope, I’ve decided two things.

First, I choose to believe that there will be an end to the current circumstances: it won’t be like this forever. Perhaps longer than we wish, but not forever.

Second, I choose to believe that the present moment is a teaching moment of its own. I am being pushed to be more creative, to use tools that I have never used, and to think outside the proverbial box. I am learning each and every day.

One day, we will look back on this. Will we sigh, smile, shake our heads? Probably all of the above. We will also be grateful for a return to some of the norms we had taken for granted. And with all we’ve learned, we might just be better teachers on the other side…

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