The first week of home learning officially ended at 3PM on Friday.
What a relief!
I assumed that’s how many teachers feel at the end of every week.
You never know how it feels until it happens to you
Since the Coronavirus situation has started at the beginning of 2020 and school closures has begun in China and some other countries in Asia just right after the year of rat began, I have been following and preparing myself to the worst case. I knew it would spread. I knew it would reach Germany (where I live now). I knew that eventually the schools would be closed. I knew ….. I would have the same situation.
Since then, I have been following the discussions in the special group on Facebook which have been started and moderated by caring, knowledgeable, principled, and …oo well I can fit all the attributes of the IB Learner Profile to describe these amazing people! Since then until now, I have seen an endless commitment that they showed to ensure the group is running and managed. I can only THANK them for starting and continuing to grow the group (to subgroups) and make many other educators (like me) feel that we are not alone in this battle.
I’ve got lots of ideas, resources and inspirations through the discussions and these had helped me and my colleagues during the home learning preparation 2 weeks ago. Every post, every comment, every response, every resource, every member …all of them have been my ‘go-to’ point whenever I am stuck. Of course, I have felt different when reading the discussions now, comparing to how I felt when reading the discussions in February. NOW…I am with you all. I feel your frustration, your exhaustion, and of course your excitements throughout this special circumstance. I feel you.
Keep Calm. Stay Wise. Be kind
After the first week of home learning, I realized that it had been an exhausting week for me. I assume that it happens to everyone. From 8AM to 3PM, I make myself available for kids, parents and my fellow colleagues. I have never thought that it could be very exhausting to be ‘available’. Constant checking on student’s work, answering emails from kids, being present on Google Meet…that’s a lot!
Having a quick break every now and then and a big lunch break in the afternoon has been helpful …..and I feel so done at the end of the day. I guess it’s just the situation that I will cope as I ‘train’ myself every day. At this moment, I am thinking of my fellow teachers who do home learning and have other responsibility on top of that. As a mum….as a dad…as a family member….I really admire those super people who can manage the situation. Imagine…doing home learning for your students plus maintaining sanity at home and supporting your family member and your kids to work on their home learning tasks. KABOOM! I know it’s not easy for everyone. I may have no kids to take care of at home, have no kids to support but I do feel you. Reading Sonya Terbog’s post about child-family-environment learning made me reflect on what I have done during the first week.
…..all done with love and empathy.
Yup, two important words – love and empathy. Try to see from different perspectives – kid’s, parent’s, colleagues’. Think of what they think, how they feel and how I would feel in those shoes. And on top of that, adding the love and represents it through being caring and sharing to others.
As a human being, I guess we are all allowed to reach the maximum point, to get freaked out, to go ‘KABOOM’….but the most important thing, at one point, we should be able to calm and take some time to think and reflect. Talk to people. Find forums which can provide you with answers. Go out and listen to the birds singing. Make some quiet time for yourself. Listen to your favourite song as loud as you want. Sit in your garden/balcony and enjoy the sun (I am still wishing for the sun here). In all these craziness, it’s important to make time for yourself no matter what.
Just remember that you are not alone..and I know I have the whole world (virtually) who will be able to support me in difficult situations like this. Again…I THANK them. I know it’s not easy. I feel you.