It probably should not be a surprise that Renay was riveted to the television, like generations before her for the moon landing, for the Challenger Explosion, September 11th. And now, a presidential election that has broken a glass ceiling– a Vice-President-Elect who shares the idea of mixed heritage with Renay. A president-elect speech that addressed people with disabilities. With an incoming first lady who knows the world of education.
History favors the victors. But now it’s time to get to the real work: remembering the importance of community. No one wins until we all are working together to move the country forward.
We have never really discussed the tides of the week. But with Distance Learning, the week takes on a different tenor.
Mondays are going to be Mondays. You need the schedule of homework for the week, you need to have an idea of the hand outs, you need to get ahead in the reading, you make your game plans of how to help your students. You might make digital visual schedules today. And you have got to get into the digital classes and capture the essence of what the general education teacher is providing. And you are doing this without the walking across campus. You are probably doing it between juggling children of your own on their schedule, hopefully in your district, but it is just as likely not to have children in your district of employment.
Tuesdays are hopefully the same as Monday so the work you put in Monday isn’t as difficult as it possibly can be. And maybe the hours are longer or shorter. You might have meetings today. You might have them later in the week.
Wednesday, you think you’ve climbed that hill, you know the work gets harder from here. You know you have quizzes piling, you have work that needs to explain. And Thursday, you feel you have the world at your fingers.
But Friday. Friday makes hard harder. And everyone’s nerves are frayed. No matter how important something is, nothing should matter that much. And yet: it still does. It is a work day.
The point of this list really is to look at the pacing of yourself during the week. Take care of yourself during the day. Reach out to coworkers if you need support.
There is good work. And it comes between black squares with names, and no response, even on the full class chat. We know that staff is working hard with the skills they have and the skills that can transfer to an online setting, not all the skills do.
We thank you for your efforts in continuing to connect with students, no matter how they come to school.
Education is essential work. Getting information imparted is only a part of the equation. Facilitating friendships is also essential work.
- Improving relationships from adult to student, student to student, is essential work.
- Helping students see through the chaos is essential work.
- Building foundational skills is essential work.
- Making progress is essential work.
- Connecting with families is essential work.
- Making opportunities to build on community within school is essential work.
- Remember that the school is a community.
If all these things come into play, then school makes progress with a variety of students.
We model. We build trust. We carry on. This is the land education was built on. And we will continue to do so.
Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published during the academic school year on Mondays, unless a holiday or announced day off. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.