The most important thing teachers need to focus on this year.
Teaching in 2020 is different, no question about it. Teachers all over the world have had to change almost everything they do to fit into this new normal.
Here’s the thing, your kids may not reach benchmarks this year. There I said it. They might not. Teaching remotely, hybrid, or 6 feet apart is affecting teachers’ ability to teach, and our students’ ability to learn. there is no denying it, there will be many students who will enter the next grade in the fall behind.
However, that’s ok. I mean it’s not ok that students are behind, but it’s ok that students haven’t reached benchmarks this year. teachers, students, and parents have all given it their all and made the best of it. guess what? We will survive and thrive once again. Teachers are totally adept at adjusting what they teach and how they teach to met their students’ needs. In the fall we’ll figure it out.
This year we need to focus on our health and social development like no other.
I always say the 3 most important things we need to focus on is relationships, relationships, and relationships. It’s difficult to do that remotely or in a hybrid setting.
So give yourself some grace. Maybe the most important thing this year is surviving. Creating memories that the kids will tell their grandchildren about. Boy will we have stories to tell our grandchildren about!
So give yourself a little grace and start practicing some self-care.
Here are three areas you not only deserve to focus on, but you must focus on.
#1 Physical self-care
You don’t need to spend 45 minutes on a peloton every day to make sure you take care of yourself physically but you do need to take care of your body.
You need sleep, healthy food, and some movement. Taking charge of your health has never been more important. So make that doctor’s appointment. Make sure you are keeping up to date on mammograms and skin cancer checks, heart screenings just to mention a few.
Just because you can teach from home if you are sick doesn’t mean you have to. If you are sick go to bed and rest. Call for a sub.
#2 Social self-care
I get it, we are all sick of zoom cocktail hours but you need to be social. A good conversation and some laughs with a friend can do wonders for you. So if you can spend some time with a friend safely then do it. Go walk your dogs together, meet outside for coffee, go shopping, make sure you follow the rules of your community but find a way to be social. Remember my 3 most important things? Relationships!
#3 Mental self-care
As a kindergarten teacher for over 30 years, one of the most common phrases I said daily was “be still”. I used to set a timer for 30 seconds. I asked the kids to just breath, that’s it breathe. At the beginning of the year, it was hard 30 seconds was a long time for little 5 years olds to be still. But I gradually made the time longer and longer. It feels good to stop and be still. By the end of the year, we could be still for 3 to 5 minutes. The temperature in the class went down dramatically after these calming moments. My tip, do it after lunch and recess. Try the app Calm or Inner Explorer or just silence. Being still is crucial for our students, but it is important for us too. We need time to be still so set a timer and just be still.
#4 Stay Sharp
Once we move out of our typical routine our mind can start to turn to mush. We have all had that summer slide – it’s not just for students. So keep your mind sharp. Read a book, do a puzzle, be creative, keep your focus on something that expands your mind but doesn’t frustrate it.
So treat yourself like someone you love and show yourself some grace.
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