from Elizabeth | Seneca Falls, NY
I am a graduate student from Buffalo State, currently completing my student teaching through remote instruction, with the guidance of my teacher-mentor, in Rochester, NY.
Earlier this week I happened upon this post at @teachersconnect: School districts, for the most part, let's remember that this isn't homeschooling, or online school, this is making the best of a bad situation in the middle of a crisis. That should be what drives decisions. I find this quote to be insightful because we are, in fact, in the middle of a crisis.
I have felt a little discouraged these past two weeks wondering: Why are only a few parents responding to my outreach? Why have only 4 out of 21 students turned in their assignments? And so forth.
I kept thinking that it must be me. I made interactive and engaging videos that were sent home. I came up with fun activities for the students to do with their families. But still...only a couple responses.
The quote put things in perspective for me. A crisis. A pandemic. A very scary and uncertain time.
Students are facing a huge change in their life, especially the little ones who need routine. They are overwhelmed. Parents and families are becoming unemployed and not all of them will be able to receive unemployment. They must find a way to provide for their family while trying to teach their child or children the lessons we have been sending home. They are overwhelmed.
My school was closed right at the 8 week mark of my student teaching placement. Since I am still student teaching, there are certain things I must complete and submit in order to become certified. As I frantically try to get all the pieces together, I also learned to step back and took a breather. I am overwhelmed.
As an educator, it is my duty to make sure that the children are receiving the education to which they are not only entitled, but also deserve. I am doing the best I can to ensure that my families have the resources they need. I continue to send home engaging videos and resources and activities, but I am not getting down on myself or feeling as though I am not doing enough. We are in the middle of a crisis.
To the teachers out there I say...
These may seem like small successes when we compare them to what the outcome would be if we were still in our schools. But we are not in our schools. We are at home in the middle of a crisis doing the best that we can. The most important thing right now is the health, safety, and mental well-being of our students, families, community...and don't forget yourself!
Step back, take a deep breath, and know everything will work out in the end. Make the best out of this bad situation.
Hearing from others can be the antidote to the overwhelm and stress you feel as you navigate homeschooling. Longstanding teachers, retired educators, brand new homeschooling parents and guardians, budding teacher candidates...we want to hear from you! Please contact us to share your wisdom, struggles, support, ideas, advice, empowerment, and inspiration.