We are in a global pandemic—more people are dying daily than on 9/11. This means, we are teaching, and kids are learning, in a time of crisis.
We’ve been observing my fellow educators (teachers and parents alike) during this pandemic, and we have noticed that so many feel the pressure to continue as normal as much as possible; however, as more areas are deemed uninhabitable and unsafe, more adults lose jobs, and more kids are questioning their needs related to Maslow’s Hierarchy, we call for us to stop what our normal was because our normal is misguided for this situation. (We won’t even get started on the misguided aspects of our “normal” education system in general right now…)
To all educator adults (teachers, administrators, librarians, and parents/guardians):
It’s okay to…
- not get to every assignment you had planned for the school year.
- not follow the scope and sequence you originally had planned.
- just have well-being conversations with kids instead of talking about content.
- accept late work.
- pause that absent policy you valued.
- give less work.
- listen to excuses right now—they’re probably reasons.
- let students guide instruction.
- allow students a chance to just chat with each other.
- have kids’ screen time be at an all time high.
- focus less on standards (we have grave concerns with how standards are implemented in schools anyways!).
- give choice in learning.
- not master online teaching (because this is not online teaching at its best).
- seek other’s advice and use their ideas (with their permission).
- focus on depth and spend the next several months working on one intensive project (that uses the outdoors, if possible).
- be forgiving of ourselves and each other in general.
- be honest with our students/kids about our own fears (at an age-appropriate level).
- show mistakes and learning curves.
- have some fun with your kids because they may be drowning in fear and anxiety.
- not get this right; no one will get this perfectly right.
- take a break if you or your family needs the break.
- teach with empathy and grace. https://medium.com/@gross_75366/crisis-teaching-with-empathy-and-grace-891850a635a8
- [Insert what we are missing in the comments. We know we are missing a lot here.]
Actually, all of this is more than just okay,
Be patient with the kids in your lives and, more importantly, be patient with yourselves.