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4/7 The Main Thing

I woke up early today. My “to do” list is long and my anxiety is high. I couldn’t sleep. So, I decided to take a walk before my household awoke. As I walked, my dad’s words came flooding into my mind. He often would (and still does) quote the Serenity Prayer to me. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

You see, like most educators, I love routine and consistency. I love the routine of connecting with my students every morning. I love reading picture books and watching my students' imagination and creativity grow. I love teaching my students how to read. I love watching my students create friendships in the classroom and on the playground. I love watching my students think and discover. Well, what I LOVE in education suddenly changed. It happened almost instantaneously.

So, now I reflect on the Serenity Prayer. What is serenity? Serenity is the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled (Oxford).

What things can I not change? I cannot change the circumstance of not interacting face to face with students and building a community in the classroom. I cannot change the guidelines placed before me by my district and state.
What is courage? Courage is doing something even if it is hard (my definition)
What CAN I change? I can change the way I connect and teach children. I can learn new ways to use technology to connect and teach children. I can help families by continuing to be available and supportive. I can ________ (you fill in the blank).

Our circumstances have changed, but educators can still connect and teach. Our students will still feel the love that we have for them because of our preparation, caring and compassion. Will it be different? Very different. However, it can be done. Educators are resilient, creative, and amazing. We can do this.

Before I sign off, more of my dad’s words came flooding back to me as I reached the end of my walk...”Angela, you need to keep the main thing the main thing.” That is what I am going to do today. What is your main thing?


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By Angela McClinton