The Adaptability of Educators and Why It MattersJul 09, 2021
I just want to point out that despite everything that happened this past year-and-a-half, you're still here. If you’re like many other educators, you might not have always thought that would be the case. You might’ve wondered if you could possibly show up for one more Zoom meeting,
Or taught one more class that was entirely on mute and the screens turned off,
Or handled one more email from a confused or angry parent,
Or planned one more hybrid class,
Or worried about one more student who hasn’t shown up in weeks,
Or read one more social media post from people disrespecting your profession,
Or spent one more hour late at night converting lessons to a virtual classroom…
Or spent one more day carrying your own anxiety along with your students’,
And yet you did it. You are still here.
There’s a light at the end of this long tunnel we’ve been traveling through. In this past year and a half of teaching during a pandemic, you have been forced to adapt and pivot in ways you could never have expected, and yet you did that, demonstrating that as an educator, you were already equipped with the skill of adaptability.
You might not have had to adapt to a pandemic before, but you've dealt with Wi-Fi outages in the past. You've had lessons fail and had to come up with something brand new on the spot before. You've had fire alarms go off in the middle of important activities, or whole classrooms of kids forgetting to bring in their books on days that they needed to bring in their books.
You've dealt with class disruption, been introduced to bright and shiny new education technology every three years, have undergone administrator changes, pedagogies, classroom furniture, and many other developments in your time as an educator. And all of these things have made you more adaptable. They have exercised that muscle for you, made you better at handling new situations and thriving despite difficulty, which is part of the reason that you were able to make it through this pandemic and get to the point you are now at.
Challenges strengthen us.
The challenge that has been the last year-and-a-half has strengthened you. This isn’t to minimize the struggle or excuse the unjust aspects of it. There's a lot that didn't feel right for teachers and students in the last year-and-a-half, and that has added to the challenge. I’m just trying to point out what you’ve proven you’re capable of, and for you to rest in the fact that you are a highly skilled professional adept at more than you know. And because of what you have overcome in the past year, you are more skilled than ever.
And I think if our education system, and the leaders and all of the stakeholders that exist within it, can trust that- can trust and support the skilled individuals who operate within it, some amazing things can happen in schools as we move forward.
And this give us a reason for hope.
So stakeholders, how can you trust and support teachers and other educators well? How can you come alongside them and give them what they need, as well as get out of their way, so they can thrive?
And teachers and other educators, how can you use your dynamic skill to keep investing in the lives of your students so they can thrive as well?
I've got some ideas on that, and will be sharing some concrete ways to engage students soon. But right now, I'd love to challenge you to reflect on this past year-and-a-half and discover ways you have grown in adaptability.
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