The current crisis is stretching the teaching profession. Education draws fire at the best of times, so we shouldn’t expect a crisis to be any different. The voice of critics clang in teachers’ ears, critics who often have never stepped foot inside a classroom. Everyone has an opinion on how education should operate, yet few have skin in the game and truly realise the plethora of competing factors that make the job problematic at best, impossible at worst.
It’s easy to get sucked into the argument, to defend the work you do and the value you add to the community. You’re screaming to enlighten the unenlightened….if only they could SEE the effort you’re putting in.
They won’t. So don’t bother.
Save your energy for the people that matter – the learners under your care. Your energy is far better spent tending to their needs in this difficult time, and it is a great opportunity to model the growth mindset you wish them to leave your care with.
This situation has required you to think creatively, problem solve, communicate in new ways, develop new tricks to teach in challenging circumstances, as well as show new levels of empathy, resilience, tolerance and patience. You’ve built new routines, new ways of connecting with others and new productivity techniques to deal with the new set of resources at your disposal.
In short, these are the skills you want your learners to develop in your lessons.
You have resilience in spades, otherwise you wouldn’t have survived in your profession. Tough times draw upon all of the skills that make you a great teacher, and these skills are the skills that will help your learners succeed throughout their learning. How can you highlight their importance? Share the journey with them; learners connect best when you show them that you’re not infallible, that you’re still learning, developing and growing.
Difficult times create growth opportunities. You’re continually taking learners to the edge of their understanding and helping them shove that edge further outwards. This crisis is likely taking you to the edge of your skillset. You’ll develop the means of pushing past this edge out of necessity, which is a great learning opportunity for you and your students. Share with them the growth you’ve had to go through in order to cope. The example you’re setting will help them develop, too.