How will you respond?

Now that we have identified all the educational buzz terms that this unprecedented time has created – social-emotional learning, anti-racism curriculum, trauma-informed teaching, etc. – it’s time for individual educators to determine what these words really mean to YOU. I am quoting my dear friend and colleague Dr. Tanji Reed Marshall @Remarsh76 on congruence …How are you going to create congruence between what you say is important and how you lead your students? Are you prepared to walk your talk in this new landscape?

Summer is important to rest, reset and assess – for both educators and students. Especially during a time when we have been inundated with day-to-day changing restrictions, rules and information. Our brains have been working overtime for quite a while, so now is a good time to pause, and heal.

It’s also time to put aside the analytics, charts, and the fear of what was missed and just FEEL… just BE. And understand the human aspect of returning to learning – to think and feel with congruence. It’s like coming back to your body after an out-of-body experience. Give yourself a little time, but also, don’t expect for things to be the same as they were before (which isn’t a bad thing!). Be open.

This fall will be one of the most pivotal times we have ever experienced in education (a bold statement, I know…). Teachers will be learning how to teach in a physical classroom again. Students will be learning how to learn in a physical classroom again. And now that we’re inching out of survival mode led by amygdala hijacking (remember the toilet paper fiasco?), we’re really just learning how to be a group of humans in a room together, which is a gift AND an opportunity. How you frame the last year and a half is a choice, as is how/if you choose to take action on what has been learned.

Get ready to jump head first into the sea of change. Take this summer time to think about where you may get tripped up and how you will react. There will certainly be bumps in the road, but none of that can be worse than continuing on with a system that must to be broken down to be built back up-anew. To revert back to where we were will have consequences unlike we have ever seen because NOW WE KNOW BETTER. It’s just a matter of if we can be brave enough to initiate the change, together.

Start simple. Be personal. Connect. Be real. When your heart is in the right place, the rest will follow.