Your students don’t need a perfect teacher right now, they want a human one.
It’s important we continue to ask ourselves, “How are you doing?” And it’s just as important we remember to take care of ourselves as we’re helping others. Many of you have not been just teaching your students in a new and different way, but you’ve also had to juggle homeschooling your own kids at the same time. This is a tricky, uncertain time; a time where we must show each other support, demonstrate understanding and above all else, be human. To help cope with this tough situation, I’ve compiled some relevant, thought-provoking quotes that I hope motivate and comfort you during this time.
“We’re feeling that loss of safety, I don’t think we’ve collectively lost our sense of general safety like this. Individually or as smaller groups, people have felt this. But together this is new. We are grieving on a micro and macro level.”-Scott Berinato, Editor, Harvard Business Review
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”-Leo Buscaglaia, Author and Motivational Speaker
“When we have no relevant experience or expertise, the vulnerability, uncertainty, and fear of these firsts can be overwhelming. Yet, showing up and pushing ourselves past the awkward, learner stage is how we get braver.”-Brene Brown, Professor and Author
“When you name it, you feel it and it moves through you. Emotions need motion. It’s important we acknowledge what we go through.”-Scott Berinato, Editor, Harvard Business Review
“Let’s work together to create a space that feels brave, safe, and connected. This is new and awkward for all of us – including me.-Brene Brown, Professor and Author
“Do not assume every student has the same attention span, the same level of wi-fi, access to private space, and the same number of supportive people in their homes.”-Brene Brown, Professor and Author
“Small chunks. No more than 30 minutes online. You can meet up several times a day, but the best teachers in the world can’t hold attention longer than that. Think about the research that went into TED setting an 18-minute limit for their talks. That’s all we can take sometimes. You can break kids into small groups for a lengthy assignment, but for the big classroom they will start to drift after 20 minutes. After 30, they’re gone. Heck, I’m gone.”-Brene Brown, Professor and Author
“Approach everyone with compassion”
“Reflect on what we are grateful for”
“Look for and celebrate small victories”
“Be ever mindful of the need for us to feel affirmed”
“Coaching is optional but learning is compulsory”-Jim Knight, President of the Instructional Coaching Group
“Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break, and all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.”-L.R. Knost, Author and Social Justice Activist
Last but not least, I go back to the beginning of this piece. Kids don’t want a perfect teacher right now, they need a human one. When you find yourself becoming frustrated, overwhelmed or perhaps anxious, ask yourself these important questions to help get you through your day and be the best teacher you can, for your students. Let’s finish the year strong.
What am I grateful for today?
Who am I checking in on and connecting with today?
What expectations of ‘normal’ am I letting go of today?
How am I getting outside today?
What beauty am I either creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?
Educators, how are you adjusting to this new reality?
Feel free to share how you are adjusting and helping to support students and teachers from afar in our comments section.