Teachers. Lend me your ears.
Also anyone in education in any capacity during this madness.
I have words for you and those that love you.
First, we are grateful.
I see you in the classroom leading a troop of masked students who may have entered your classroom unsure of what this year would be like and you have brought them all the reassurance they will be OK along with a crazy amount of the joy of learning. And you are killing it. Our kids are thriving under your direction.
I see you teaching virtually, Zooming in with kids who are anxious to show you their pets or who are refusing to turn on their camera and you are figuring it out. You are bringing them learning and fun and so much connection right into their own home. Our kids are thriving under your direction.
I see all of you working in the office and the hallways and the lunch room, running and coordinating all the things. You are leading and serving in all the ways.
You rise to the occasion again and again and again. The ability of our society to run seems to rest on your shoulders and you just keep on keeping on. It. Is. Amazing.
I need you to know you matter. Your work matters. But seriously….you as a human on this planet, matter.
Please take care of yourselves. We need you to be well.
Close out that tab with your work email at night.
Take a quick walk on your lunch hour (actually I’ll be honest, your lunch 20 minutes) and feel the sun on your face.
Set boundaries when what is being asked is just over the boundary of what one human can do.
Eat well and often.
Hug your family tight.
Look over your class when they are working away and feel the full difference you are making in their lives.
Breath fresh air all the way to the bottom of your lungs when you get that mask break during specials.
Let go of the worry about rigor and standards…the pandemic is bringing all the rigor we need and our standards right now are all about love and safety so kids can be ready to learn. You’ve got that down.
Talk about your worries and troubles, you do not need to hold these things in. Your feelings are valid and they also matter.
Make time to do that thing you love to do that has nothing to do with school….knit something or ride your bike or bake some cookies or haul that dusty kayak onto the water.
And if you love someone in education MAKE them do these things. Like right now.
Educators are big-hearted people that are really, really good at thinking of everyone but themselves. They may just need you to take over in this department.
People….if you have it in you to thank anyone who works in a school today please do it right now. Send that email. Write that note. Have your kids make that card. They are riding this roller coaster just like the rest of the world and man they do it with so much grace and dignity and they love on our children like they are their very own.
All the thank you’s to all the people that are keeping our schools going. We owe you one.
Now go put your feet up, at least for a minute. And no grading stuff or doing whatever at home work you brought home with you while you do it….don’t think I don’t see you.
You deserve the rest. We love you.