I have seen students thrive
"I have seen students thrive from online learning and find a sense of confidence within themselves that was never present because of having to sit in a classroom where they once felt uncomfortable."
Being a teacher means you are ALWAYS ready to adapt to whatever scenario/obstacle/challenge that is put before us. So, the challenges that I have faced during this time did not come from the family environment that was created in my classroom (Zoom or in person) but from the outside voices that control the dynamics of education.
I have seen students thrive from online learning and find a sense of confidence within themselves that was never present because of having to sit in a classroom where they once felt uncomfortable. For some, sitting in the confines of their homes has given them a sense of power where they want to interact and participate in class. I love it! The continuous negativity of people saying that online learning has caused students to fail or schools to fail, is false! What online learning has finally done to the world of education is show the true deficits between the Haves and the Have Nots that many, many of us have tried to bring to the forefront years ago. Equity and equality are finally being discussed to the heights it needs to be done in order for ALL schools to be provided with the effective tools they need to achieve and reach ALL kids in our district.
I used this time to visit students in their driveways while they played basketball, decorate my car and celebrate their birthday, hold class Zoom meetings in their driveway so that I could see them, or even call them to check in on them. I took this time we were given to make the most of it and establish a relationship with my students in other ways.
Each day my students amaze me with “a-ha” moments that validate my reason for being in this place, at this time! I have a student who is in remote learning and will ALWAYS stay behind to talk to me about life and even talk about books that we have read. Little does he know, those extra 5 -10 minutes each day are priceless, and give me that “teacher joy” I need.
Oh my word! I miss hugging my students! Everyone at my school knows that I’m a hugger and the students look to me as being the mom of the school. I welcome the day when this virus is contained and I can hug my kids and give them high fives on a regular basis!
I’ve learned that I AM ENOUGH. I have to pour into myself and into my own family, because life is short and we must value every minute we have with one another. Too many times I found myself staying up until 2AM doing school work and not giving my family time. I learned to create boundaries between home and work, which is so hard for teachers to do! We work around the clock, all day, every day, even during our weekends and holidays. Teachers—-your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being is of the utmost importance to being the best YOU in the classroom!
- Kim Tuttle