And now the end is near…
On the eve of our last day of the 2020–21 academic year it’s easy to allow our stress and exhaustion to overtake. I believe in positive affirmation, however, and much rather focus on the bright side of 2020–21 to achieve closure.
So what was the bright side in 2020–21 using a professional lens?
- Our resumes expanded considerably. We discovered numerous instructional platforms including Google Meet and/or Zoom and in the process flipped our classroom in real time without any support.
- We all ran a digital marathon. In the standard 40ish minutes of classroom time, we “let students into” Zoom/Google Meet between 15–55 times, monitored chat, created breakout rooms, and visited many of these breakrooms to ensure engagement — whatever that means in a remote setting, shared our lessons on screen and even annotated or wrote on our screen notes, while still managing to read our email from that frantic student(s) that daily could not get into our digital classroom.
- Flipped the curriculum…on a whim. Literally. Not knowing what the first day of school looked like until mid-October forced all of us to carefully probe our curriculum and identify a select few “big ideas” rather than attending to a buffet of “skills and practices”.
- We enjoyed several “Soul Hugs” throughout the year. Students and parents often acknowledged the effort we put in to try to teach our students and appreciated us regularly. These “soul hugs” were a validation that our students understood that everything we did was with the intent to have them succeed.
- Administration “Got it”. I am fortunate to have an administration that has consistently been supportive but many peers at other schools shared that they honestly felt that administration understood their challenges and were as supportive as they could be.
Yet despite all these positive affirmations, my therapist continues to be a permanent virtual fixture in my life and probably will continue to be for a long, long, long time since I have been broken often this academic year.
All of us worked harder this year than we ever worked before and as the viral phrase went, “In October we were June tired”.
We all tried our best — with mixed results. Some of us were amazing on zoom while others drafted their resignation letters in October 2020 for June 2021…for June 2021!
Whatever your remote instructor skill level, I CELEBRATE YOU!
I celebrate your flexibility in going from chalkboard to screen with less than two weeks’ notice with absolutely zero support.
I celebrate your ability to manage the array of commands, colors, and needs of Zoom/Google Meet.
I celebrate your singular trait of a genuinely committed educator — prioritizing our student needs above all.
Frank Sinatra would have serenaded us on this eve:
“Start spreading the news, I‘m leaving today
I’ve been up and down and over and out, and I know one thing
Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race
I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
And now, the end is near,
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I did it my way.”
Farewell 2020–2021 academic year until we never ever repeat again.
Hold your heads up high, You did it!
Kudos to educators Globally!
Much love and peace to all educators