Learning in a Pandemic

This post is a few days late because I was actually considering not writing one this month. 

Honestly, I’ve been struggling with the devastation of being ripped out of the classroom, away from the children, and away from the learning that I was engaged in with them. I was not prepared for the feelings of loss, the overwhelming worry, and the underlying uncertainty that would render me mostly incapable for the first week after this happened. 

God love the parents, they soldiered on. Many of them are better than me; they shielded their children with an invisible curtain as they filled their days with outdoor excursions and fun activities. My daughter is pretty self-sufficient at learning on her own. She busied herself with painting and piano while I sat glued to CBC News Network for nearly a week. 

In the past week, I started a private Facebook group so parents could share what they’ve been doing with their children. I’ve been moderating and responding to their posts. But we all know what Facebook is like. It’s a place for sharing the good times, the fun times, the accomplishments. People don’t post many photos of the rough times, the sad times, the times when it all seems too much. 

There may be parents out there that are looking to me to tell them what to do, to provide support, to steer this new ship we have found ourselves on. 

Unfortunately we aren’t all on the same ship like we are in school. Each family is on their own, including me and mine. Some ships are much better equipped to handle these rough seas than others. Some of the crews are completely unprepared.

So, my advice is this: Whether you’re a teacher, a parent, an administrator, or a policy maker, if the seas get rough, make sure to steer your own ship first.

You know that old saying about motherhood? “If you don’t look after yourself, you can’t look after your children.” It’s the same thing. It’s very difficult to pay attention to what’s happening on other ships if yours is in the middle of a storm. 

So when it’s calm, whether it be for hours or days, have a listen and look around. Pay closer attention.

We are in a pandemic. 

For all sorts of reasons, there are people whose ships are about to sink and they are sending out an SOS.

It might be a loud, rude comment born of desperation. It might be a brief hello from someone who’s barely coping. It might even be silence. 

So whenever the waters are smooth this week, please take a little time to look around and listen carefully. Break out your binoculars and hearing aids if you need to. 

Because even though we’re all steering our own ships, we’re also navigating this unpredictable ocean together. 

Cathy 🙂

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Cathy Baker View All →

Dedicated teacher for the past 15 years. Lifelong learner. Newbie blogger. Follow me on Twitter @Baker1973Cathy

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