As I watched Dr. Daria’s message recently, I realized that most of them have a common phrase…meeting the challenge. This reminded me of a quote I once read, “We don’t grow when things are easy. We grow when we face challenges.”
When we first were told we would not be returning to our classrooms, the emotions flooded in (sadness, worry, anxiety, fear). Then came the voice all teachers have inside saying, “What can I do for my students?” The week before we officially started back was planning mode. I had to decide what routine would be best for this new way of teaching and learning, getting materials in the hands of students by calling and hand-delivering to be sure each and every child had tools to be successful, diving into training and trial and error to make engaging lessons, and then implementing with online instruction.
The first time I was able to get online with my students I remember feeling a sense of normalcy for the first time, though things were far from normal. Here I was with these smiling, excited faces and doing what I know I am meant to do and that was my normal.
Since then I have continued to grow in implementing routines and lessons. My students have learned more about me and me them than we ever would have just by being in each other’s homes daily, and my sons have even been able to interact with my students and play Kahoot, which is now a popular request from both. We will all look back at this as a defining time in our lives when we were challenged, we faced the challenge head-on, and we became closer even when not together.
I look back at the challenges I have had throughout my life and know they are what built my character and ability to overcome. So I challenge everyone to continue facing the obstacles that may be ahead because as you conquer each one, you are building a better you. Our students are also watching and learning how to do this. Their greatest lesson will be just that…face the challenge and succeed!