I wrote a really long email to all of my Newsletter subscribers yesterday, and I had lots of people write back and say how much they needed to hear what I shared. So, I am going to share my thoughts here… (I don’t typically like to write the same thing in a blog and newsletter but this is too important….if you need a safe place to vent, I left a link to a Google Form at the bottom 52 teachers filled it out yesterday and just wrote and wrote… Let it out… Sometimes sharing in writing and sharing anonymously can take the edge off…I would love to help you in that way. I am a really good listener….)
You are not alone in what you’re feeling. If you’re feeling like you can hardly get out of bed, let alone make the effort it takes to put on pants, you are not alone. If you feel invisible to your admin and you feel like you will break if you have to send one more email, you’re not alone. If you feel like one minute you’re being told to track students down for work and give them grades and let them know they’re being held accountable, and then the next minute being told to be gentle and “go easy” on them, you’re not alone. This is the most challenging time we’ve ever faced as teachers. NONE of this is easy….
Authentic communication feels hard, impossible sometimes, because it IS hard right now. Here is what I shared yesterday. Hang in there my friend, I see you, and I appreciate you!
What feels hardest right now?
Just about everything… teaching feels hard, not seeing our students feels hard, seeing our students feels hard, tracking and entering grades feels hard, answering a never ending train of emails feels hard, putting on pants feels hard, Mondays feel hard, knowing what day it is feels hard, shutting down feels hard, attending 1700 meetings per week feels hard, looking at a computer screen feels hard, synchronous learning feels hard, asynchronous learning feels hard, signing a contract feels hard, NOT signing a contract feels hard, eating lunch instead of just drinking wine feels hard, showering feels hard.
everything seems manageable again
or it doesn’t
Many of you are wondering if it is ok that you’re not devastated the year is ending like this… This has been a sigh of relief and an escape from a really toxic reality….
That’s ok… you’re allowed to feel that
Many of you are grieving because you’ve spent four years teaching a group of kids and you don’t get to finish their senior year with them
that’s ok, you’re allowed to grieve
Many of you are retiring this year… this is NEVER how you imagined you’d end your career
That’s ok, I see you, I am grateful for you, you’re allowed to feel ALL the feelings
Many of you are moving to another school, you feel devastated, like you were robbed of telling your students that and robbed of saying goodbye
That’s ok. You’re allowed to cry
Many of you feel that at a time when it should be easiest to be with your families and give your children more attention, you’ve actually seen them and played with them less than ever…
That’s ok, you’re not alone
Many of you aren’t sure if you can do this again. You’re not sure you can face another year of such uncertainty and change, you’re not sure if you can teach again next year.
That’s ok. This is hard. Really hard.
You’re just so tired… Me too…
Some days feel impossible. Others, you are wildly productive. Some of you have stopped with synchronous lessons because you just “can’t”, while others would give ANYTHING to just have ONE synchronous meeting with students…
You wonder if they’re even learning anything. You spend HOURS preparing something that will bring them some joy (you hope) or maybe create more engagement in a LIVE class only for one or two, or ZERO students to show up.
You wonder what to do next, you’re not allowed to teach, you are told you’re only allowed to make one video or one lesson a week, and yet you’re still getting paid full time and you’re watching teachers around you drowning in work…
You see teachers with 80% even 90% participation and wonder what you’re doing wrong… You’re doing the same things and only getting 13% participation on the BEST day…
Some of your STRONGEST students haven’t done anything. You haven’t even heard from them. You are questioning what you’ve done wrong.
Teachers Appreciation week sucked. You saw teachers being honored and celebrated everywhere but not you. This year was hard. Really hard.
You see the amazing things teachers are doing and can’t begin to imagine having the time, energy, or wherewith-all to begin putting something like “that” together.
Everything feels hard because it IS hard.
Please, remember this quote from Teddy Roosevelt, which I first heard from Leslie Davison at iFLT in Chattanooga “Comparison is the thief of JOY”
Stop comparing yourself to others. EVERY single teacher has a wildly different reality. We are all required to teach (or told we aren’t allowed to teach) differently. We all have wildly different home situations. We all have wildly different emotional states that change day to day.
Remember that the people sharing online are:
1. Sharing the highlights
2. Sharing because it helps them focus on the positive
3. Sharing because they hope to HELP you not create stress, frustration, or make you feel defeated in anyway
Know that you are NOT alone in your feelings and WHATEVER you’re feeling is OK. It is ok to feel GREAT some days and AWFUL the next. It is OK to take a personal day. It is ok to cry and then burst out laughing. It is OK, because NOTHING that we’ve experienced in the last 2 months is OK… Nothing is normal. Nothing is easy. Nothing is cut and dry.
Be gentle to yourself.
Be gentle to your students.
I see you teacher, and I love you!
Click here if you want to vent, cry, or celebrate something… just write, let it out and know that I am here to listen….
Take care, teacher!As always, just know that I am here for you and you’re doing your best and that best is enough…
La Maestra Loca (another tired teacher, with good days and bad days JUST like YOU)