The New Normal
It is sad to think that my new professional life is feeling familiar and routine now. Like many educators and educational leaders, the workload in this new environment can feel overwhelming, but at the same time, I remind myself that we are blessed to have a job. I also think about how this new normal is not an ideal situation for anyone involved, especially the students and families we serve. It seems like a distant memory only 2ish weeks ago when we were forced to close schools and ask our educators to move from in-person education to distance education…seriously…the video below portrays this experience for me very well! 🙂
However, even though this new normal really has its downsides, I have witnessed many educators creating innovative and special experiences for their students during this time of scoail distancing. I and many others have gone to social media as a place for professional collaboration and there have been so many incurable ideas and experiences that we have been able to either adapt of contribute to.
But even if we are not sharing ideas, social media is an amazing place to reflect on the memories we had this year.
I have repeated this time and time…..but I will repeat it….social connectedness, relationships, and engagement are the most critical things we can provide for students and families right now. We have an excellent system for continuing our learning during this time, but our focus should be on our connections with students and families. The curriculum is in place as the backbone, but we need to make it come alive with teacher innovation and excitement through those three critical things.
Practice what you Preach…
I am trying my best to communicate in all ways possible and support the great work of our teachers, I am trying my best to communicate in all ways possible and support the great work of our teachers, coaches, and administrators. I am also trying to role-model what I preach, so I have kept my vlogs very fluffy and fun while providing some updates that are not overwhelming. Communication is probably the most essential part of my job right now. Whether it is bi-weekly vlogs and blogs, the countless meetings, or simply having rapid email/messaging turnaround, it is all-important. So make sure that you are communicating in multiple ways, keeping it fun, and most importantly, being genuine. Does everyone read these blogs….hah no…how about watch my videos??…..nope…but I do it for consistency of communication and for it to be there for when someone wants to tune in.
So as you continue to adjust to this NEW normal in your own professional and personal life, take time for lots of reflection, be thoughtful in your communication and remember, sometimes, LESS is MORE and distance learning can still be made into a FUN experience for our students by just being yourself 🙂