2020, what a year. This year will be one for the history books. Never in our lives have we had to manage a situation like this…especially teachers and students.
2020 has been stressful, uncertain, with ups and downs. Somehow, teachers have managed to make the best of it and support student learning all at the same time. At some point or another in this school year, I have felt like I was not doing enough, or I needed to do “more”. I kept wondering if I was alone in my thinking, but I would bet I am not.
Yet teaching and learning must go on.
This year I am looking to give myself and my students more grace in our learning journey. My #onewordchallenge for 2021 I have selected it to be “Grace”.
Allowing myself to make mistakes and to realize that it is ok. Realizing that sometimes my students just need me to listen and talk about struggles, so they know they are not alone. This must take priority over whether we covered this or that standard. Because some days knowing we are not alone is most important.
Grace for yourself
Think about and define what grace means for you and what it looks like in your life. How are you gracious with yourself and how can we be gracious towards our students?
Somethings to consider when thinking about grace for myself are:
Mistakes bring growth:
Learning through trial and error is one of the fastest ways to learn anything. When we make mistakes, we learn lessons. If we take the time to analyze the situation, we can see what went wrong and how we can make better decisions next time. We can’t let mistakes prevent us from moving forward, we must lead by example of showing a growth mindset.
Listen to your body:
Grace also means knowing when to take a break. The year, 2020, has been a doozy and I have needed to prioritize self-care more than before. So, when your body or mind just quits, let it take a break. I have found that either I take a moment and listen to my body or my body will do it for me and that is no fun.
Surround yourself with support:
Sometimes the best thing is just to talk about what is happening with you. Find your people. Find a person or a group who will listen, support, and encourage you as you push through this year. Having signed up with www.Betterhelp.com has been an incredible opportunity for my mental health and I could not recommend them more highly.
Grace for your students
All these things also apply to the classroom. Your students are going through just as much as you are all while being younger and not fully aware. They are dealing with uncertainty and being unmotivated. These feelings and emotions are a huge weight to carry on such small shoulders for our students. Giving them a moment to express and talk through these feelings instead of moving to another lesson might be what keeps our kiddos moving forward.
We need to be an example of grace so that they do these things for themselves moving forward. Highlighting that mistakes are ok, listening to our body and having a support network. So if that means that I don’t cover ever standard or ever concept, but my students are healthy physically and mentally, I am in.
How are you supporting your students? What does that look like for you and how are you taking care of yourself?
Keep learning and sharing,
2 thoughts on “A Year We Won’t Forget”
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts of Levi. Hindsight is literally 2020 in 2021! I am glad to read that you have been reflective and are intentionally giving yourself “the space for grace” this year. Feeling lucky to know you, learn from you, and work with you!
Thank you Heather! I think we can all do with a little bit more grace in our lives. The feeling is very much mutual.