I had a good friend share with me today that they told their children last night “I promise your teacher is as nervous or more nervous than you are.”
So much truth.
I’m no longer in the classroom, but the nervousness and anxiety I feel for folks in education — especially the folks I represent here in #BloNo — is palpable.
These days will not be easy. Not many days have been the past several months.
They won’t be easy for students. They won’t be easy for parents & caregivers. They won’t be easy for educators. They won’t be easy for advocates and decision-makers.
While the desire to encourage is admirable, be careful and thoughtful with your encouragement. As much as anyone involved in education right now needs encouragement, they also need empathy, understanding, patience and grace.
“You got this” is easy to say. But sometimes they won’t have it. Things will not always go smoothly. All the planning and preparation in the world won’t prevent every possible mistake or failure.
“I support you, I’m rooting for you, I believe in you and I will be here for you — whether things go perfectly and as planned or not” might be a more suitable sentiment right now.
We should all acknowledge this is not how anyone wanted to start the school year. And we should all acknowledge it will create challenges for everyone involved.
That doesn’t mean we can’t do this. And it doesn’t mean it won’t work.
But it does mean it may be frustrating, disappointing and exhausting at times — for students, parents & caregivers, and educators.
Every educator I know is feeling a mix of emotions. They are excited for another school year, another opportunity to do what they love. They’re disappointed to not be able to do it in the most effective way possible — and to not be able to be with their students, in person, as they support their growth and learning. They’re anxious — about using a new format, about new expectations, about partnering with a new group of parents and using old devices while they wait for new ones to arrive to educate a new group of students. They’re worried their desire to be their best and give their best won’t be evident amidst all the uncertainty and unknowns. And they’re nervous. I promise you, as my friend promised her own children, they are as nervous or more nervous than you are.
It will be easy in these coming days to express frustration, to share disappointment or disdain, and to direct anger where it’s convenient rather than appropriate.
I’d just like to encourage us all to resist the temptation to put too much pressure on ourselves or on others.
With yourself and with others.
You got this? Maybe.
We’ll get through this? Absolutely.