Today was the first day (again) of my son’s 5th grade year. In a way, I felt like I was sending him to kindergarten again. We’ve been together for oh so many days and weeks and months that I had a little twinge when as he walked to school. I’ll admit it was little. I’ve been super productive with a quiet house again!
I was reflecting on the last few months, and all of the “newness”. We are getting ready to move into a new season at Pressing Onward, and as we planned out our launch calendar, I said (with a deep sigh) of a few things we put on there, “ugh, that’s going to be something new to learn, but I think it’s necessary.” Is new learning a bad thing? No! That’s what makes us grow! But it’s hard. I’d venture to say that in almost every workplace, some form of change and newness happened – in some (like teaching), more change occurred than others, but change is the name of the game in 2020.
Here are a lot of questions I’m hearing from teachers:
- How are we going to do cooperative learning when they have to be so far apart?
- How am I going to connect with my kids when I can’t even touch them or smile at them?
- How am I going to teach at a high level over a computer?
- How am I going to connect when I have so many kids virtually?
- How are my kids going to go to the bathroom?
- How are my kids going to be able to keep their masks on?
The list could go on an on. We are going to be addressing some of these issues in upcoming blogs (we are starting a Teacher Clarity blog series next week!) and FB Lives, but I want to leave you with something simple today.
Brendan Burchard, author of High Performance Habits (you’ve probably heard me refer to him or the book before because it’s been so influential on me) explained a concept that has really stuck with me. He says that no expert was born an expert. They saw a need or a problem they wanted to solve, or they had a passion. They determined the skills they needed to achieve it, and they learned and practiced those skills. This idea has really impacted my thinking, and I’d like for you to internalize this as well. You are tackling a whole lot of “new”, and you’re not going to be an expert at it. And some people may seem to get it quicker than you – but only because they’ve learned and practiced it more.
I think about Tate also. The other day, he said, “Mom, I’m just not a long-division guy.” This was day 2 of long division. I said, “Tate, you are a long division guy. You just need a little more practice to get there. You know the steps. You just have to practice them a little more to remember.” By day 3, he had it – because he was a long-division guy :).
Teaching is often times trial and error. You plan, yes. You know your students, yes. But the great teachers get out of their comfort zones and try new things in order to take their kids to new places in learning. That’s what you’re doing now.
Don’t be afraid to determine what skills you need to be an expert in whatever environment you’re teaching in now, learn and practice, try and fail, learn and practice some more. I have a feeling we could all come out of 2020 experts at skills we hadn’t even thought of last Christmas.
We’ve got big things coming! Don’t forget to keep in touch!
We are here to support you!
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AND…exciting news! Our Podcast, Teaching By Reaching: Empowering Classroom Superheroes – is LIVE! Search and follow it where you listen to podcasts!
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