So last week I wrote about how educators from all around the world are rising up, staring down and accepting the many challenges that this new school year is presenting…in it’s many different forms. From the ever changing government restrictions and school protocols, to the updated and implemented plans for distance learning and online education, it is not only tricky, but incredibly difficult, complex, and absolutely exhausting. This week I want to unpack the WHY behind this incredible and inspiring effort that teachers are exhibiting each and every day, and celebrate the beauty that lies behind the countless hours of hard work and dedication.
If you think critically about all of the webinars attended, articles read, Zoom conversations that have been had, and all of the new professional learning that has been attained over the past six months, you’ll come to understand that it is all rooted in one thing…a deep love of teaching, which comes with it an unquenchable desire to inspire and engage young people. Educators around the world aren’t doing all of this extra work, and putting themselves in the position of feeling like they are at times drowning because school districts, and Boards, and administrators are telling them to. No, they are doing it because they love to teach, and they want to do it well.
Much of the anxiety and trepidation and nervousness that teachers are experiencing these days has to do with the feeling of not being able to be the teachers that they ultimately want to be for their kids…being the teachers that they have always been, and it’s scary. We’re all scrambling to find ways to do school well in this new reality, and it’s the dedication and commitment to not letting our young people down that is driving us all forward…and that’s beautiful and inspiring to me.
The day before we opened up for the year, and welcomed the kids back on campus just over a week ago, we sat together as a faculty and we wrote down our WHY…we took five minutes and we thought about the reason why we teach…and we reconnected with the joy and the love and the purpose that we have as educators. It grounded us and gave us something to hold on to, if and when things get really difficult again. The things that we wrote down on those cards are what keep us all swimming in these rough waters, and putting in all those extra hours trying to find new ways to engage, inspire and connect with our kids. You can put restrictions and protocols in place, and you can lockdown campuses and send teachers into distance learning when necessary, but you can’t put barriers on how much we care about what we do…you can’t lock down the passion that we have for teaching our students, and regardless of the difficult circumstances that educators all over the world are living through these days, you absolutely can’t put a mask on our love.
We are super, super fortunate here at ASP, compared to the countless number of educators all over the planet, because we are currently back face to face with our kids. We understand that it might change at any moment, so we are not taking any of it for granted. We are grateful and we are inspired and we are being the best versions of ourselves for our students…a little 2nd grader said to me last Friday, as I was holding the door open for everyone in the morning, “Mr. Kerr, I can see your smile through your mask!”, and hearing that I all of a sudden got very emotional. It’s weird and it’s hard and it’s different these days but the love that we have for our vocation will shine through…a mask can’t hold back joy, and it can’t hide a genuine smile…I’ll say it again, and I’ll keep saying it…you can’t put a mask on love. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.
Quote of the Day…
I am not a teacher, but an awakener – Robert Frost
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