My best friend Rachel, is an amazing Kindergarten teacher! A few days ago she posted these touching words on her personal facebook page. I asked if she would allow me to share them with more teachers via my blog and other social media platforms and she said, YES! So, teachers, from her heart and mine… WELCOME BACK to SCHOOL!
Trying to hold my breath hasn’t been working. I recently read a quote that got me thinking deeply about the changes that are in the middle of every thought… “Insecurity is loud. Confidence is quiet.” I have been silent about MY thoughts about the impact this pandemic will have on the face of education. I had trouble forming words (and those of you who know me deeply understand that words are the core of who I am). So, here’s where I stand, what I think, how I’ll continue to spread hope, love, light, and positivity…
You’ll still get the best of me… as a friend, colleague, parent, an early childhood educator.
Yes, it’s true…yesterday’s normal isn’t an option for our children. The days they long for will become a distant memory~ soon replaced by newness interfering with their innocence. But, I question and challenge you to think of things in a new light. There is always an opportunity to look at change as altering the course while not losing sight of the goal! For years, I have relied heavily on refocusing and changing the direction of what I do and how I teach. I have for more than 17 years found ways to deliver best practice instruction to my students. This time…in this pandemic…whether in person, virtual, or hybrid… I will do the same. You will still get the best of me.
This year (and likely beyond) school will look different and feel different, but I’m still the person who will connect with families, teach children, and bring my passion for public education forward. You‘ll continue to get the best of me.
Public education is constantly scrutinized. People who have little knowledge about inner dynamics of how schools function often lend critical opinions and overly judgmental attitudes. It’s up to all parents to now shift the view and help redirect the focus. Regardless of the decisions that stakeholders make about what/how school will actually happen this year, you’ll still get the best of me. I ask you to listen, be patient and be present as things continue to swirl in a sea of uncertainty. But, be assured, although things are different… I am not!
You’ll get my genuine care and concern about your child’s social, emotional and academic development. Just because the way I do my job will change, doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t continue to make the best decisions to help move your child forward. I’ll still be the person who encourages creativity, praises growth, and lends my heart and hands to make your child feel included and important. Sure, I’ll tackle curriculum with different decisions than you’ll understand. I might falter and fumble a little…because don’t we all at times? I’ll get it wrong and then completely figure it out and GET IT RIGHT. I’ll change course and make this new normal something you’ll be proud to witness!
As public education will permanently change due to this unprecedented time in history, you’ll come to understand that we are all in a learning curve together…and you’ll still get the best of me and hopefully I’ll still get the best of you too. This year (as always) I’ll teach your child within the four chambers of my heart rather than within the four walls of my classroom that you’ve come to expect.
What I need from you (and all educators need) is your grace and patience. Your advocacy and commitment to US. Your belief that your child will not be ‘left behind’ and that your family IS our priority. I need you to keep your opinions positive, your social media free from criticism, and your focus on the things that this pandemic is gifting all of us. We are being given the opportunity to recognize, refocus, reevaluate, and recommit. I need you to trust me and have faith in me.
If confidence truly is silent, please reach out to those who are speaking loudly during this time. They need you to listen, understand, and take action on their behalf. I have not been silent because of my confidence in what is happening… I have confidence in the person I am and in the end I’m the same dynamic, passionate, sensitive, protective, compassionate kindergarten teacher I’ll always be. No matter what lies ahead… You’ll still get the best of me!