The Next Best Thing

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

You’re reading this as you finish up your first or second day of the new school year and are likely feeling a lot of emotions from the experience. As a teacher development team we have been wowed by your resilience and solutions orientation in the face of ongoing challenges. You have remained committed and positive, not in a toxic way that ignores the reality of the situation you’re in, but in a productive way that fuels your capacity and potential. Don’t believe us? Here is a short list of challenges you’ve shared with us from the first days of school: 

  1. Last minute changes to your curriculum and/or learning management systems
  2. Not being able to log into the systems you’re meant to use for instruction
  3. Students struggling to log in and access virtual sessions on time
  4. Students struggling to navigate your introduction/welcome to class assignment
  5. Little direction and guidance from your schools on what you should be teaching
  6. Interruptions in internet connections at the most inconvenient times
  7. Conflicting directions from different entities in the school 
  8. Already having to contact trace on some of your campuses

Here is a list of some of the ways you’ve already recovered or taking steps forward in addressing these problems: 

  1. Showing up! Greeting the students that were present with love and making effort to contact those that were not
  2. Choosing to focus on what students and parents expect of you even if you haven’t received clear expectations and guidance from your school
  3. Sending coaches questions, video clips, and other artifacts for feedback.
  4. Being willing to ask for help. 
  5. Rising to the occasion of creating online content with the tools you do know even if it isn’t perfect/ 
  6. Taking advantage of smaller class sizes to differentiate instruction
  7. Already considering how to get families and communities involved
  8. Use of CRT and mindfulness activities as part of your procedures and daily routines. 

So if you’re telling yourself that the first couple of days have been a disaster you might not be wrong. There is certainly some truth there. The other truth is that they have also been a success. In every moment where you did “the next best thing” (to quote my children’s favorite Disney princess, Anna) you have succeeded. Know that you do not have to make ALL those decisions alone. Your coaches are there to help and resources like the ATC Slack and Facebook group can be great spaces to idea generate. 

We see you. We thank you. We’re super proud of you.
Your Teacher Development Team