This year has taught me a lot about about being a teacher. Here are some of the key lessons I learned from this school year.
- Input is still everything. As long as students are reading or hearing something understandable, they are making progress.
- We’ve all been working way too hard. We all want to make really cool, color-coded, fancy looking stuff that takes hours to make. Those things are nice, but not at all necessary. We can make cool stuff when we have the time and the energy, but we need to stop expecting that from ourselves.
- There is no honor in self-sacrifice. As educators, we have long prided ourselves on going the extra mile for our students. We spend time, energy and money we don’t have, in order to do this. When it came time to send us back into school buildings during a global pandemic, it became clear that our extra efforts meant little. Not only were most communities unwilling to sacrifice comfort for our safety, a number of them fought with everything they had to put us in harm’s way. It is okay to love your job, but don’t expect it to love you back.
- Keep attending quality professional development. Workshops, conferences, etc. are a huge part of what kept me going this year. While the state of world was like weight on my shoulders, attending CI-based PD consistently revitalized me. Learning from colleagues and friends, in a virtual room full of people going through the exact same challenges, gave me sense of community and helped share the mental burden. Even though I am feeling drained after this year, I am going to be attending tons of conferences and workshops.
- “Be ruthless with systems, be kind to people.” – Michael Brooks.