As state testing (for some this year and for most or all of us in a normal non pandemic year) looms in the near future, days get warmer, and the school year winds down, many educators are thinking towards next year. Sure, a lot of thoughts are also aimed at the summer and vacation plans, but some thoughts are focused on the next school year. We have almost completed what might very well be the toughest school year of all time. One for the record books for sure, so naturally we need a summer break, but thoughts of next year still linger.
As we navigate these uncharted waters of school closures due to COVID-19, communication is one of the most important things we can do to help students work through remote learning and all the stress that entails. Not every district has the luxury of placing all students online for the remainder of time that the schools are closed, so communication can become tricky. However, utilizing the school email is always a good idea which can be followed by other means of contact for students who are unable to respond.
Whether you are in the #OneWord movement, make your own New Year's resolution, or not doing either of those, there is usually some moment of reflection and, maybe, dreaming as the new year approaches. I like the choosing one word that can guide me through the year, so I give it quite a bit of thought, attention, and I never refuse a bit of luck along the way. As I pondered this one, I was a bit stumped. I was uninspired. I was stymied, and then Christmas was right around the corner. What to do. What to do.
We teachers are often reminded by parents, students, colleagues, and administrators of all the things we're not. And if we somehow skate by with feelings of competence locally, then there's the visions of teaching and classroom perfection all over the internet, in our beloved PLNs (Professional Learning Networks). It's easy to forget that the perfection we see posted is but a moment of that educator's day. We have those moments too, though maybe we forget that in the hustle and bustle of our day.
There are several similarities between a canoe trip down the river and how school districts or buildings (or even businesses) can function. Regardless of the obstacles in the way, we need to work together to go around them, through them, or drag our canoes past them until it is safe to float again.