Educators, we need to talk. The truth is, our jobs have never been easy, and they never will be. Once we get into a rhythm that feels successful, something shifts or changes, causing us to revise and come up with another plan. (If you're a parent, you know this all too well). Nothing from the past few years seems to help us with where we are now. We have been tested, pushed, challenged, and it feels as if there is no end in sight. We hear you. We see your posts full of emotions and frustrations, and a sprinkle of small wins here and there.
We are working on speaking our truth, especially in hard conversations. Well, we need to have a tough conversation. We know we may ruffle some feathers, but please know we are speaking from our hearts.
Before we begin, we have a question for you…Why did you choose education? We're pretty sure your response is similar to ours. Not one of us chose education for the pay or the workload. We chose our profession because we enjoy supporting kids. We believe in the power of influence, connection and relationships. We strive to be the adult that we needed when we were younger.
This year, as we deal with the pressure of catching up our students up academically, and focus on care and connection, we need to remind ourselves of our why. Pressures from above will continue, no matter what is happening in education. That doesn't mean we can't come together to do what we KNOW is best for kids. Right now, they need us. They need our love, consistency, coaching, and connection.
We are seeing some extreme behaviors, and it may feel like it’s the worst it's been. Remember, WE ALL have been isolated from others. We've navigated constant uncertainty, financial and health stressors, political and family divides, and a loss of familiarity. We are trying to jump in where we left off in March 2020, and it is not working.
What do we do?
We go back to the beginning.
We focus on our why.
What will bring you joy as you walk into your school each day? Take time to remember your craft and creativity. The adopted curriculum police are NOT coming to arrest you, if you're not on the same page as the pacing guide suggests. What will keep kids engaged? Bring in manipulatives and focus on mathematical discourse, reasoning, and questioning. Branch out from your reading adoption and focus on picture books with social justice themes that matter. Have fun, because that is what YOU NEED, and it’s what our STUDENTS NEED too.
Yep, it sounds easier said than done. We know. But, one of the best parts of being an educator is the teams we work with. Find the strength to support one another during these tough times. Find your people and collaborate about solutions; not just problems. We need to ban together, love each other, and support our students. When you learn to love your students (even the ones that are really hard to love) the relationship deepens. And, YOU are the only one that has the POWER to create that special connection with the students in your classroom. So, even though each day feels like a marathon, smile anyways. Make eye contact. Be aware of your tone. Breathe. Be calm. And, adjust your perspective, because we were made to do hard things. Your HEART is a gift to those around you!
We got this! We BELIEVE in you! Believe in yourself, teammates, and students. This too shall pass. We love and appreciate you all!
Confidence Coaches 4 Kids are educational consultants. To serve students, we support educators in the following areas: Effectively building trusting relationships; and Integration of Social and Emotional Learning in all content areas; and Engaging instructional strategies.