Still ruminating on my May post, entitled “I Don’t Know What I’m Doing“
Remember when we were teenagers and knew everything? My youngest daughter is there now. She’s 18, about to start college in a month, and knows it all. Until she doesn’t. And then she seeks me out, with her hands full of anxiety and doubt, and wants me to figure it out for her. Unless it’s cooking. She knows not to ask me about anything kitchen related. That’s a grandma question.
Even if it’s not cooking-related, I can’t always figure it out for her. Sometimes I can, but oftentimes I’m searching for the answers with her.
So when I see these books being published about how to teach during a pandemic, I’m quite honestly flummoxed. Even those of us who have been teaching via distance learning, independent study models for years don’t necessarily know how to teach during a pandemic.
Yes, I’ve taught college online for 12 years now. Yes, I’ve built and taught high school classes online. Yes I taught middle school in a 1:1 blended learning model. But those were all to people who either chose to learn in that environment, or were supported through trainings and tools before being expected to fully learn that way. Not people who were thrust there while also being worried about sickness, job loss, and bandwidth reliability.
So if you’re beating yourself up because you don’t have all the answers and you think others do, stop. Don’t buy from the snake oil salesperson. We’re all struggling, children and teachers and parents alike. It’s called “unprecedented” for a reason!
As I said in earlier posts, do the best you can and give yourself grace. Take care of your mental health by stepping away a bit. Call a friend and don’t talk shop (or do, if that helps!). Watch silly Tik Toks for a while. Pet a furry animal (as long as it isn’t rabid!).
Remember, none of us have all the answers. But I’m here, as well as thousands of others on Twitter, Facebook, etc., if you need someone to listen to your questions and ideate some potential responses or just to listen.