March 2020 was the time where everything changed in the midst of education. I remember hearing that we would not be back for a few weeks when suddenly weeks turned into months which then turned into a year. Although schools are figuring out ways to bring students in safely, and many have done so, I hope that this year was looked at through a glass half full and not a glass half empty.
Zoom or Google Hangouts became common phrases, and our home offices transformed into our classrooms. In the midst of this uncertainty, educators have shown how amazing they truly are, and our students have shown persistence through it all.
In my opinion, I have learned a lot throughout this pandemic. I learned the importance of celebrating others and showing empathy whenever possible. I also started grad school during the pandemic, so that taught me to continue to work hard and reach for my dreams. I was a first generation college graduate, so just having that opportunity means a lot to me even though there are days when I am tired and unmotivated because I am human.
Speaking of being a human being, I learned the importance of slowing down a little. I am typically a person who likes to tackle multiple tasks at once and keep myself busy, but when life around me began to slow down, I slowed down a little as well. I learned the importance of negotiating what tasks need to get done and which ones can be done later along with giving my mind and body permission to rest when needed. Being on Zoom all day can cause a teacher to get tired, and Zoom fatigue is real, so when I have days where I feel like I am lacking motivation, I acknowledge it, rest, and then try to work slowly on the task at hand.
I learned lessons during this pandemic, but, most importantly, I learned to cherish the people I have in my life including my family, former teachers, fellow colleagues, and my students.
Teachers have shown grace and flexibility this year in many ways, and we owe it to ourselves to extend that grace back to us as well.
Rather than counting down the days to summer break, let’s try to focus on the number of days left where we can make a difference in the lives of our students one action at a time. After all, our students are the reason why we get up in the morning and strive to be our best. We just have to remember that our best may look different every single day, and that is okay.