Over the last few weeks and months, with the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, our lives have experienced challenges unprecedented in our times. With daily newsfeeds and my work with JabuMind, I have been spending a lot of time thinking of teachers working in the field today and in the past.
One thing I do believe, teachers, is that you’ve got this!
There are a few things I know and have learned about teachers over my last 40 + years in education. In my career, I have experienced working with students and teachers at a variety of levels, having taught preschool through college level. I have worked as a classroom teacher, a facilitator, a teacher leader, and as an administrator. I worked alongside experienced and novice teachers, as an isolate and with teams. The years of dedicated teaching, along with the rich body of my work has been a privilege. I couldn’t have hoped for the life filled with joy, companionship, and rewarding professional and personal relationships that education has brought me.
We all know every generation has its own challenges. I could tell you about my first years as a kindergarten teacher with no materials and 50 students a day! (I thought that was a challenge!) But I would like to talk about the people I have worked side by side with through the years and how I know teachers will meet the challenges they are facing today.
Let me review some of the qualities and traits I have found that my teacher friends, support staff, and faculties possess in order to handle the challenges they face today with remote and distance learning, of doing their jobs under new sets of rules and with different tools.
- I find teachers to be one of the most resourceful people I know. They have the ability to skillfully and promptly respond to new situations and difficulties. They are able to find new, quick, and clever ways to overcome all sorts of obstacles. They are able to find and use tools to assist with any task.
- I find teachers to be ever-so-flexible and imaginative in finding creative means to adapt to circumstances and constraints, and to solve problems, in order to meet student needs and educational requirements.
- I find teachers to be strong communicators, not only conveying their meaning and intent to their students, but also to parents, peers, and administrators. The other side of this coin is that they are some of the most attentive and careful listeners around!
- I find teachers to possess well-developed and efficient preparational and organizational skills.
- I find teachers to possess strong work ethics, often operating under the “I’ll do whatever it takes” attitude. I find them to be energetic, positive, courageous, and confident. They possess a sense of humor, using it skillfully with their students (and to amuse themselves and their families)!
- Most importantly, I find teachers to be passionate about their students, their families, their school communities, and the importance of their work.
Teachers are life-long learners who value real-life learning experiences. I understand how difficult these times are for everyone, especially for teachers trying to continue their students’ education every day. I also know they are learning new strategies, finding new technology and tools, and sharing generously with their communities. As difficult as this crisis is, this is the chance of a lifetime to show the world what we are made of! I believe this is becoming more and more apparent every day!
Technology is amazing – but the true source of success ….is you!
You’ve got this!