It is hard to select a specific topic at this time. I find it hard each day to think about the school year, just sad to be out of the classroom and away from my students. It has already been such a hard year on the students with extracurriculars taken away and missing more than a week of school due to strike days. It is important to remember during these times to be a positive leader and to send positive vibes to students and colleagues.
Starting tomorrow, my school will be doing some online meetings and online learning. I am excited to learn something new tomorrow as I have already ran out of things to do on my “house work” list. While I have been missing the classroom, it was nice for the first time in maybe my whole life to have time to just sit and do nothing. For people that have been working part time and then full time since the age of 15, time to just relax is hard to come by. I found it hard at first because I made a list of items to complete by the April return to school date and as that date turned into “indefinitely”, I knew I had to take time to just relax. It is hard to do, but a necessary skill to master during this new learning time.
A lot of my colleagues have been talking about how during these times, it is important not to bombard our students with new skills/ new work, but to focus more on their mental well being. My colleague said this was a directive brought up by her friends school and it is an important message to send to families. We have been directed to contact families by early April and I am excited to see how my students and their families are doing. After that, then I think it’s okay to mention work that is optional and available on our school board website (however, many students may not have a device at home or may be helping care for their siblings at this time).
I think the most important thing to do during this new situation we are all in is to focus on a few positive things each day. Thinking about the future often causes anxiety and a lot of what ifs. When this first happened, I thought of grad, the rest of the term, their highschool start date…just a long list of anxieties. As soon as I acknowledged the fact that no one knows what will happen, I realized we are all in this together and that I should just focus on the time we have been given now to relax, learn something new and for once have time to just exist.
I realize this is probably a new idea for most of us adults that have been working our whole lives but it is something we need to wrap our head around if we are to get through each day.
All the best to all educators during these times. If anyone has any daily activity suggestions, I will gladly take all of them!