Time for a well-deserved break
The last year has been one of the toughest and most unusual teaching years for most teachers. Surviving a year of uncertainty, constant change, strict protocols for engagement and contact, and a pandemic has been a challenge. It is now time to take a more than deserved break to relax and recharge.
So many questions
As we headed into the school year last fall, there were so many questions and concerns about how to make all of this work. Nobody knew what to expect and teachers were constantly adapting and changing their teaching styles, lessons, and means of sharing information and ideas with their students. They had to learn to teach digitally, in person, and in hybrid situations and still engage students and help everyone to feel safe.
You made it!
Well, my friends, you made it. It may have been ugly at times, and you may not have felt the same joy and satisfaction as in other years, but you need to congratulate yourselves for making it through the year and doing the best you could under the circumstances.
Being retired, I was on the outside looking in most of the time, listening to my colleagues and teacher friends share their experiences and difficulties, but I did get a bit of the experience with how difficult it is to teach online. My husband and I spent the last several months trying to teach our ukulele students on Zoom.
I have to admit, it was very unsatisfying, and we just learned that it is not always a very reliable way of assessing how the kids were doing. Because we were not able to actually hear the kids in a group situation, we had to trust that they were playing correctly and that they understood what we were showing them. We struggled with screens freezing, kids turning off video, kids saying they were playing, but weren't really, and many other things.
When we had them send in videos of their pieces for a virtual concert, we discovered that they didn't always know their own parts, and that they were struggling more than they let on. Luckily, some of the restrictions were just relaxed and we were able to do some one on one sessions this last couple of weeks and fix some of the problems and salvage the season.
I am sure that many of you are looking forward to returning to a more normal teaching situation in the fall. Here's hoping this is true and we can move on. For the next few weeks I will be focusing on getting ready for a new year and providing some tips and ideas for classroom management and the first weeks back at school.
For now, relax, refresh and enjoy your summer break. You deserve it.
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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.