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The Growing Pains of Virtual Teaching-Fall 2020

The truth is that I LOVE my job. I’ve said this before, but I am doing the job that I have always wanted to do. Also, I am so glad that the school year has started again. School for me is so much more than just what I can pour into scholars, but it’s the connection with people of all ages, it’s the problem solving, it’s the creative lessons that I plan, and of course it’s the laughs that I have each and every day because children are so funny!

And while all of these things are still a part of my day, virtual learning is tough! Technology has been our greatest friend but also our worst enemy. Discussions are hard when the Wi-Fi is spotty. I know it can be frustrating for my scholars when my directions require listening skills that they aren’t developmentally ready for yet. I know that turning in assignments is difficult when there is yet another platform to sign into and this is your first time typing so much. And to be honest, I feel it ALL! When I see the headphones come off as a sign of frustration, or when I hear the hint of annoyance in their tone, or when I see the heads start to droop out of tiredness, I am taking it all in and I feel it ALL.

And a part of me is hurt. I wish that this did not have to be the experience for my scholars. I wish that my families did not have to take on this extra burden or trying to figure out how to help their scholar stay caught up in school and take yet another Zoom call for their own jobs. I wish that I could explain my directions clearly in an audio and visual way so that everyone’s needs are met. I wish I could hug my scholars and that they could hear my calming voice in the classroom when things get overwhelming. I wish we could be building relationships face to face and collaborating and making new friendships in the building.

So for me, these first three weeks have been so hard. I’ve felt crappy after lessons that didn’t go exactly as planned. I’ve felt like a terrible teacher because I felt as though I was overwhelming my scholars and their families because I myself I was overwhelmed at the end of the day. I’ve reflected after each day and I have tried to make adjustments along the way to make sure that I am meeting the needs of my scholars and myself in real time. But at the end of that first week while I was reflecting something came up for me “This is only Week One!” Meaning the beginning of most new things are tough. It doesn’t mean I’m failing. Really it means that I am showing up and I am trying. Week two was a little better. Week three has knocked me back again for understandable reasons (blog post coming soon.) But through each week I have learned something new.

So right now I’m cherishing the hard moments and the lessons they have taught me, but I am also making space to celebrate the wins that I have fought for as well! I have continued to build relationships with my scholars that I had last year, and I am building new relationships with my new scholars. I love to learn about people and today a scholar told me she enjoyed getting to know more about me too! I have laughed very hard. I have had fun playing games. I have been amazed by my scholars and their love for learning. I have gotten up each and every day ready to take a swing at virtual teaching again.

I love this job, I really do! I am excited to figure this virtual teaching thing out because my scholars and my families deserve it. I deserve it too! Figuring it out just requires me to go through the growth process, pains and all, but I know it can/will still be beautiful!

Are you going through a growth season anywhere in your life? What truths are you speaking over yourself to be kind and gentle to yourself in the midst of it all?

Let me know in the comments!

Love y’all!

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