All of my good friends, family, and anybody who has ever spent more than 20 minutes in conversation with me knows I am a huge Pearl Jam fan. The words seen here are from the song Release off 1991’s Ten album. I found myself humming, singing, and listening to these lyrics over and over again the past few months, “I’ll ride the wave, where it takes me…” Never have flexibility, understanding, and patience played such a role in my world. I venture to guess in your world as well. What a wave it has been the past few months. Ups, downs, sickness, health, fear, relief, loss, love, and still complete uncertainty.
Our role as teachers has never been so important and has also never been so undefined. I don’t know where the wave will take us in the coming months. I don’t think any of us know, but I have a few lessons to offer and ideas to share to potentially help us all ride the wave together.
I am not an expert in online learning. In fact, I struggled with it this past spring. Like many of you, I am a classroom teacher who spent the spring of 2020 trying it, reflecting on it, noticing successes and complete misses, and listening to feedback from colleagues, my students, and my students’ caregivers. I rode the wave, and I’m about to dive in again. We all are. So, I decided to share some of the lessons I’ve learned to help my fellow classroom teachers as you join me in riding another wave of uncertainty: the 2020-21 school year.
The 15 lessons that I’ll share in the coming days and weeks are born of the mistakes I made, successes I had, and the many conversations I’ve had and books I’ve read over the past few months. The posts will include helpful resources, recommended books, and maybe even a video or two. This blog series is meant to offer ideas, support, and a little camaraderie as the 2020-21 school year approaches.
How This Series is Organized
- Posts 1-5, July 20th-24th- the human aspect of teaching: our relationships.
- Posts 6-10, July 27th-August 4th- establishing care and trust: those critical first days of school
- Posts 11-15, August 6th-13th- striving for a productive year for all: big overarching ideas
Each post will be short by design and will only take a few minutes to read. In the comments section each day, I’d love to hear about the lessons you’ve learned as well. Teachers freely and openly sharing with each other is more important than ever.
Subscribe to the blog by clicking on the Follow this Blog link to get each post delivered to your inbox or check back here. The 15 lessons learned will be posted over the next three weeks between July 20th and August 12th.
We have to support and lift each other up right now. I’m here for you. And, I just might ask you to be there for me, too. Let’s ride this wave together.
Posts in the Series Will be Added Here as They’re Published
- Lesson #1: Prioritize Myself, 7/20/20
- Lesson #2: Build & Maintain Student Relationships Before Academics, 7/21/20
- Lesson #3: Predictable & Productive Communication with Caregivers, 7/22/20
- Lesson #4: Lean on Colleagues & Professional Networks, 7/23/20
- Lesson #5: Don’t Forget the Most Important Relationships in Your Life! 7/24/20
- Lesson #6: Building Community on the First Couple Days of School, 7/27/20
- Lesson #7: Establish and Practice Specific Routines, 7/29/20
- Lessons #8: The Power of Play Before Academics in Tech, 7/31/20
- Lesson #9: Embrace the Power of Conferring Right Away, 8/2/20
- Lesson #10: Keep it Simple: Embrace the Power of Just One, 8/4/20
- Lesson #11: Get Books in Their Hands ASAP, 8/7/20
- Lessons #12 – #15: The Final Four, 8/22/20