Hopes and dreams changed by the unexpected
Two years ago we headed into the New Year with hopes and dreams for an exciting year ahead. No one was ready for the change that happened in March of 2020. All of a sudden, we were thrown into unknown territory and a completely different way of teaching. There was lots of uncertainty and we were overwhelmed with learning how to navigate this new world. Teachers, students, colleagues, parents, and the community at large were worried, scrambling to figure out how to work virtually, scared of the unknown. and wondering how to stay safe.
Fast forward to December 2021. We thought we had things more under control and we were starting to reconnect with family and friends and beginning to return to a more familiar way of teaching and living. Plans were being made for holiday celebrations. Suddenly, this all changed as a new variant arrived. All the things we had been doing that were working, were no longer enough.
Getting through the next wave
This new variant is reacting differently and we need to make adjustments again to get through this wave.
How are we going to navigate through this next wave and still stay safe? I am sure this is a question on everyone's mind. Some places are going to online learning again while other places are still going to do in person instruction. All the protocols from the first wave are back in place, but are they enough? From what we are experiencing, they don't seem to be enough. We need to be even more vigilant than before.
Hang in there. You've got this.
I get that it is important for kids to have interaction with others, but I also wonder what kind of balance is needed between personal interaction for mental health and distancing for physical health. Nobody seems to know what will work right now. This crazy variant is finding us no matter where we are or how careful we are trying to be.
This is one of those times when we have to do whatever we can to protect ourselves and those around us. If you are teaching in person, take care of yourself and try to focus on the kids and how you are there for them. I pray that the protocols in place will protect you and that your students will realize how much it means to be there for them.
If you are teaching virtually, hang in there. I know that this is not why you became a teacher, and that it is difficult for you to be away from your students instead of interacting with them in the classroom. I pray that this will not be for too long and that you will once again be able to get back to teaching in a way that is satisfying and fulfilling.
I have such admiration for you and all the teachers that are using every creative way they can think of to weather this next wave. Hang in there. You are appreciated and you are making a positive impact on kids.
If you are looking for some ideas for how to incorporate projects and real life learning into your instruction during this time, check out some of my ideas in these posts.
Teaching And Learning Online And In Person
Using Projects For Student Learning
Learning At Home And Keeping Kids Engaged
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How The Way We Feel Affects How We Look At The World
Happy New Year! It is hard to believe another year has passed. Who would have thought we would still be in the midst of a pandemic almost two years later. This year, it is important to be able to move on and look forward even though we are still dealing with restrictions and concerns over the virus that continues to impact our lives.
We often focus on all the things that are going wrong and these things can make it difficult to see things that are going right in the world. I would like to challenge both you and me to try to find the good out there and make that a focus for 2022.
Imagine how we could change the world if we were able to find the good in people instead of criticizing them. Think of all the positive energy we could add to a situation if we started to focus on what is right in the world.
A teacher friend of mine sent out an email the other day that was a great reminder of this. She uses colours for moods and puts them in her planner each day to indicate what kind of day it was. She noticed that when she looked back at the year, she had many days that had positive moments that she might have forgotten about if she had not made a note of them.
I have also seen different posts about gratitude jars. If we put one thought of gratitude on paper each day, or even each week, and put it in the jar, at the end of the year, we will be amazed at how much we have to be grateful for. Since it is the new year, this might be a good time to try that.
In the fall, I wrote about gratitude and created a gratitude journal for the four seasons. You can find out more about it here. This is a great place to record thoughts and reminders of things to be grateful for. Kids would benefit from using this type of journal. It is important to learn how to appreciate things and focus on what we have instead of always thinking about what we want.
I have created a personal feelings template that can be made into a personal feelings journal for the year. It is available on my followers free resources page for subscribers. I have added it to my Teachers Pay Teachers store for those who wish to purchase a copy.
Our attitude affects how we feel. If we are hopeful and positive, we will make it through challenging time. I hope that you will have a year full of good memories. Hang in there. We've got this!
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What motivates you to keep going?
What motivates you when you are stuck at home or in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation with work? I started thinking about this recently as I found myself running out of steam. It has been a year and a half since life changed because of the pandemic and some days it is hard to keep pushing on when it seems like things are not improving or changing fast enough.
Life changing events
Last year things changed in February for me, just a couple of weeks before the move to distance learning happened in Canada. My husband had a heart attack. All of a sudden, he was unable to do much more than go from the bed to the kitchen before being totally exhausted. He needed a walker just to get around the house. We were told that he basically had to cut sodium out of his diet (not easy for someone who likes spicy food) and he went on a regimen of medication. Talk about a change. The day before his heart attack he was preparing his equipment and getting ready to head off to be an official at a track meet down island. He was involved in many different activities. So was I. We had to put these on hold and focus on helping him recover. This was very difficult to do. We were so used to being busy and working with others. All of a sudden, we were at home every day doing just the basics (eat, sleep, eat, sleep, some computer time or tv time, eat, sleep.) We were gradually able to get outside and do some walking every day.
Here we are a year and half later, and he is stronger, able to do most things that he used to do, and healthier than he has been in a long time, but it hasn't been without its challenges. One thing we joke about is that everyone stopped doing what they were doing so he wouldn't feel left out as he recovered.
All kidding aside though, we have a greater appreciation for what is important in life, and also a realization that we need things to keep us motivated and able to keep going when it seems like nothing is changing. Family has been a big one for us. Even though we were not able to get together we were able to meet virtually and stay connected that way.
A Creative Outlet
My TeachersPayTeachers business is another thing that I can go to when I need to have a focus. I have been busy taking some workshops and courses so that I can better provide materials and resources for teachers and I have continued to learn new things. I also try to stay connected with teachers in my district as well as those I have met in my Facebook groups. This helps me to better understand how they are dealing with the issues out there right now. Together we are able to support each other as we get through this pandemic.
It is funny how we all react so differently to change. Some people embrace it as a challenge and forge ahead, others shrink back and begin to doubt their ability to go on, and others are somewhere in between. When we look back on this past year and a half, hopefully we will find that we surprised ourselves in a good way with how we were able to take the impossible situations and make them work, maybe not the way we thought, but I guess that is part of learning, and adjusting as we go along.
Through all the ups and downs, try to find things that inspire you and continue to motivate you to carry on. Have a wonderful year.
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About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.