One of the jobs my 8 year old has is replacing the garbage bag in the garbage bin. Recently, I bought the wrong type of bags. After a few years of having draw-string bags, suddenly we had tie off bags. As my son wrestled with the bag, he cried out, “WHERE is the top of the bag?!” I took some time to coach him through it.
Look for the side that isn’t flat. That is the top. Turn it around. Now, put your fingers on the top of the bag and do like this (I mimicked how to get it open).
This was all done patiently, because, thanks to the pandemic and social distancing, I’m not going anywhere. He clumsily completed the task. But he will get better.
It struck me just how much this looked like what I was trying to do with remote teaching. This is functionally different. Multiple times a day, I’m stuck. Awesome people are leading the way through this, but, due to social distancing, they can’t see my struggles and bail me out in the way I could intervene with my son. I have to reach out to others.
They say: The link to the meeting is in your email. Click submit first and last. Check the third box, but uncheck the fourth box. No, let me send you a screencast video to show you.
I have to fight with my computer and my internet connection. The number of times I have to start something over has multiplied 10 fold from pre-pandemic levels. This is hard. This is clumsy. But I know that day by day, I will get better.
Teachers, be kind to yourself; Be patient with yourself. You are trying new things. This is hard but we will get through this together and come out of this changed. On the other side of this, we will be able to do much more than we could before. I hope that, beyond the new digital skill-set, I’m able to see even more clearly the struggle and resiliency of my students who do brand new hard things all the time! I hope I’m more patient as I coach them; I hope I’m more patient with myself.
This learning curve is basically a canyon… and why is it so much harder to be patient with ourselves that with our learners? Thank you for your reminder; this is hard, but we will be stronger and better on the other side… yes, we will!