Too many open tabs, lots of extraneous thinking, a slightly extra portion of worry.
Given a choice, here’s what I would do:
- I would go chat with my colleagues and encourage them to slow down even as the only message we seem to hear is “hurry up and be ready.”
- I’d ask us to pause and think about what makes school valuable for our kids. What keeps them coming back (aside from legal and parental mandates)? 9 times out of 10, I’ll bet you it’s not the viable and guaranteed curriculum.
- An insight I read that has stayed with me is this: kids come to school because it’s where all the other kids are. Kids prefer, in most cases, to be around other kids. When the rush and flush of going to school suddenly disappears, how do we insure that kids can stay connected to other kids? Anyway, this is what I would want to spend time talking to my colleagues about.
- I want my students to tell me what they can imagine themselves doing for PE while at home. My 3rd graders said “ride a bike if we have one, hula hoop, walk a pet if you have one, go for a jog…” All good ideas that assume space, outdoor options and willing supervision. 5th graders suggested being given a list of tasks to complete or that they send us videos or pictures of them doing some activity.
- I would want to comfort my colleagues that being frazzled, exhausted and out of sorts is to be expected; that we need to make time to let go of our brave faces and admit that we’re at a loss. And we haven’t even shut school yet.
- I would go bury myself under blankets and work my way through an amazingly compelling stack of books.
- I would dance often in my living room to my favorite 3 or 4 fitness choreographies and start creating my own.
- I would joke around with my golden boy and make us go outside at least 2 times a day to shake out our bones.
I say all this now not knowing what I actually will do because we’re almost there but not quite. There are limits on how much we can learn and how quickly. I wish we would acknowledge that as the adults in the room. As much as we love the idea of independent and self-motivated learners, only some of us fit this description some of the time. Imagine how true this is of our students.
Let’s be kind. To ourselves, to each other, to our fellow citizens of the earth.