This blog... it's been all over the place. It's true to it's name, however, for I am CONSTANTLY learning. Life has offered up many challenges and time for reflection and then time to put to use what I'm learning.
My first week of the 2021-2022 (2022?!) school year is finished. We had three days with staff only and two days with hallways jam-packed with students. I'm tired, and I'm happy.
Usually when I think I "learn" something, I go ahead and make that same mistake again. I kick myself in the pants and get frustrated that I didn't actually "learn" that lesson. For my first sixty days with students, I'll be sharing #LessonsLearnedDuringPandemicTeaching via Twitter - one per day. I know I'm going to make more mistakes, but I think I may have actually learned these things I've done each day this past (first) week...
Five Lessons Learned that I'm Actually Using:
Stay hydrated - I drank all the water in my huge water bottle!
Don't use time to complain - I don't think I complained about anything. At one point, I sympathized with another teacher (or group? I can't remember), but I didn't add my own two cents. Instead, I shared what I liked about the new situation.
I can't help in some situations, and I have to be okay with that - This lesson was brought home by Mandy Froehlich in one of her presentations or articles shared awhile back. Last year, I let everyone else's stress become mine. My stress hangs out in my shoulders, then leads to migraines that made teaching more difficult than it already is. This year, I listen, maybe ask a question, then note in my mind that this is not for me to fix. If I think of something that can help, I'll share, but many people just want an ear that listens. I can do that, and then I can move on to what is important in my own life. I haven't needed pain medication yet this year.
Be Present - I know some people balk at the "Teach Like a Pirate" gig Dave Burgess has going on. I don't think they've read the book or heard him speak. (I wouldn't have asked the Burgesses to publish my own books if I didn't believe in the message.) The "I" in his pirate acronym is for "Immersion." When I read the book, that was the one lesson I thought I took away from it. I knew I'd have to be my best in EVERY class, not just the classes before lunch. I just had to immerse myself in the moments. I'd gotten away from this lesson, however, and now I'm back! I need to immerse myself in every moment. Be present in every moment. Good or bad, happy or sad, I need to LIVE it. This past week, I didn't multitask. I gave my full attention to what was going on around me. I soaked it in. It was good for me.
Go slow / Take things as they come - There were a couple of times I wanted to tell the kids something else that was related to something we were sharing, but I let it be. The kids dictated what came next, and I was still able to share that bit of information, just at a later time. Another time, a student came to me asking about his locker right when the starting bell rang for class. I used to stress about these things. Instead, I followed him to his locker. It took me less than a minute to help, and when I got back to the room, no one had hurt themselves - or anyone else. So far, so good.
I don't regret anything I did or said this week. The start of this school year, masked, full classes and hallways, has been just dandy. I'm looking forward to putting more lessons to work for me in my 27th year of teaching!