Let's have a Real Conversation About Teaching Through a Pandemic.
This week I wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge my community of Early Childhood Educators for the fantastic work we've done throughout this pandemic. I am not here to sugarcoat the realities of teaching through this pandemic. As an educator who taught full-time in the classroom last year, I have to acknowledge my difficulties. As I look back, I want to share how I managed the unmanageable and what we can do to balance our students' emotional and academic needs in this ongoing pandemic.
Focus On Being Present: From the federal government to the school boards, promises were
made that were not kept regarding providing clear mandates and safe schools. At times this reality has baffled me. When I feel these emotions, I focus on the present. What can I do in that very moment to create the environment and peace of mind I deserve.
Provide Normalcy Where You Can: Young learners need routines to feel secure—incorporate rituals like a Morning Meeting to greet children and build community connections. Consider including songs, dancing, and LOTS of gorgeous picture books to feed the souls of your students and yours!
Balance Academics and Emotions: Children are also feeling overwhelmed. Many children have dealt with loss, isolation, etc. Practice patience, give breaks when needed (this includes giving yourself a break) to cope with frustration. Incorporate "talk time" to provide students a safe place to talk.
Lastly, pat yourself on the back. You are responsible for yourself and your loved ones during this time. You are also a significant component of your student's lives. I am celebrating you!