I would be lying if I said I found this week easy. I would be lying if I said I wasn't feeling the pressure. I would be lying if I said I wasn't feeling the pain of the parents and learners as we try to navigate this new world together.
This week really has been challenging, especially when trying to balance my wellbeing and setting boundaries of what I expect of myself so that I know what others can expect of me. On Wednesday evening, our first day of virtual learning, I put myself on a bath and decided not to bring any music or books with me. I wanted to reflect on the day and see where to go to next. These were the two things that stood out during my reflection time:
- Walking with kindness and understanding is hard sometimes!!
- It is very easy to spiral down and sometimes you have to allow yourself to be in that space - but don't stay there.
After my bath, I decided to use this quote I read during the week from Edupreneur as well as my favourite quote from Harry Potter to start to encourage myself to spiral back up again.
From reading this book, I think the biggest thing that inspired me was that we are accountable for our actions. I had to practise what I preach - our choices have an impact - so I asked myself what impact was I going to have? So.......the choice I made was to turn my laptop off and not look at anything else for the evening.
Sometimes I feel like making a choice has to have an outcome or it has to show some productivity on the outside. But in this case the choice that was going to have to biggest impact was my ability to shut off and instead of staying in the dark, I turned on the light, allowing myself to accept the challenges of the day and move forward to tomorrow.
Another takeaway from this books was our ability to take action and not get attached to what we think should happen. So instead of 'getting through' all the documents and notices I thought parents and learners needed, I decided that I would only focus on relationships during my face to face time with the learners to begin with.
Walking in their shoes, showing Empathy for myself and empathy for them, realising that this is a difficult time that we are all trying to understand.
Yes that is me as an egg, and a pizza, and a llama etc. My solution was; laughter, fun, enjoyment and relationships. And let's just say Thursday, my second day of virtual learning, went so much better than the day before!!
One thing that is clear from this book is that as educators we can achieve more together. When I was feeling a bit lost my #edutwitter tribe were definitely there to help and give inspiration. I was able to tap into their journey, especially those who had already been on the virtual journey for many weeks before.
As Richard Gerver said last week, teaching can be a very isolating but there is no reason to feel isolated now. As part of my Google Innovator journey so far - connection and relationships has been the best part. From all theinterviews I gathered with some of the innovators, one of my biggest #toptiptakeaways was the fact that in one way or another, no matter where we are in the world we all go through challenges. However, nearly all of us said our challenges have turned into some of our most successful adventures.
And this very much relates to what we are currently going through right now, how can we walk in the shoes of others and grow our awareness of ways we can support one another to navigate our ways through this unknown time?
Practical Ideas Section: Our choices have an impact - What impact will you have?
Here are some slides I created to use with my learners at Stonefields School, where our vision is to grow resilient learners who can take meaningful action in their lives.
I used these slides to get the learners to think about what they are grateful for, growing their awareness of what we do have rather than focusing on what we don't have. Especially in a time like the present, how can we be grateful for our circumstances as well as helping others who may need our support?