In this time of uncertainty and new everyday normals. Everyone is looking at education in news ways. What we call distance learning has brought out new creative measures for educators who would normally shy away from new innovations out of pure survival to last during this unique mark in our history. What comes with our new normal teaching day brings positive aspects of seeing children succeed at home in front of their families eyes, and still being able to connect with them through different technological means. It also brings a lot of downs as well, not being able to see your class in person, not being able to play together, learn together, and grow together under the same roof, having to change your instruction to a point where it looks nothing like how it was when you are in the classroom.
The world is different right now and we are all under a lot of stress but you need to remind yourself to breath and let the high expectations you have fade. This is not the time to continue on with normal, this is a time in our history where students need to know comfort and have options to keep their mind off the daily fears they might be facing. With each new day comes more challenges and this is a time to not weigh people down, it is a time to lift them up/.
I have seen all over the web frustrations from teachers and students over unfinished work, technology woes, and exceptionally high expectations. Most trying too much at once while others just barely make it through. If I had one piece of advice, it would be..you ready for it?…It would be to take the deepest breath you can, clear your mind of all of those fears, and high expectations. This isn’t a time for normal, it is a time of positive thoughts, all the smiles you can muster, and ways to get your students no matter what walks of life they come from making music, together, with their families.
I love to see videos teachers are making encouraging students to sing songs together or showing off their best dance moves. The websites and apps they are encouraging their more technology savvy students to do and their challenges and projects given to students who might not have the most access to technology. Some teachers are zooming with their classes or joining in regular classroom teacher’s zooms to sing a song with the class. I especially love Cherie Herring’s choice boards she is posting in the SeeSaw Teacher’s Facebook group, the teacher friends in my feeds using TikTok to grab their student’s attention, and even just sharing a book with them over a quick Facebook or YouTube Live makes all the difference in a child’s day.
Don’t try to overexert yourself in a time like this. You are doing your best by sending your students a bright spot in their day or even just week. Music is what brings us together, it brings kindness, positivity, and a warm heart. Especially with what is going on in the world, it is not a time to panic, it is not a time to be frustrated. Take this time to use the bent up creativity you have and do something good for your students and for yourself. We all need a little bit of that right now.