This year sucks. But it isn’t too late to make a difference.

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

I have to be honest. I have been struggling at putting words on paper recently. I must have put a dozen or more starters on paper and saved them and countless others that I started then deleted. I have been going no where with writing recently. So, I am putting this out there for my friends and colleagues.

This will probably be messy.

Stress sucks. It has been slowly eating away at me over the past few months. Stress of work. Stress of working in an environment where we could go back online at any time. Stress of not knowing if or when I could get home and see my family. Stress of holding down multiple jobs at school. Stress of covering for another teaching position because we are short-handed. Stress of looking for another job overseas this year, especially in April.

I have held it together pretty well until recently. It just seem to come crashing down on me recently. Now, I am not the melt in a corner or binge eat kind of person, but I felt everything just weigh down on me. The last year and a half has been brutally hard for many people. Forging ahead, I have been able to handle things well. It finally caught up with me. At least I recognize it for what it is.

I am tired.

Tired of this year. Tired of COVID. Tired of feeling stuck. Tired of not knowing. Tired of covering multiple positions. Tired of trying to keep it all together. And it has been coming out in some not so helpful ways.

I have learned though. I have new skills from the past year, if I am truly honest. I have new skills in my toolbox for dealing with resiliency. I have new tech skills. I have read a lot more. I have interviewed with some amazing schools. I have re-learned the importance of the support of friends. And I am still standing, pushing ahead to the end of the school year.

This year is tough.

Not only have we had to deal with COVID and quarantines. The political climate in the world has been unstable and hard. Issue of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion have taken the forefront of discussions. We have had to learn how to teach online. We have had inconsistent news and expectations about vaccines and ability to travel. Some of us have not seen family in over a year. And we still teach our students.

Daily, educators are doing yeoman’s work in the classroom. As educators, we are struggling trying to keep it together. Our students are seeing this through out eyes and their own. They are struggling. They are impacted. Schools never closed or stopped. We just changed how we presented content. Some students excelled, others did not. Just like the teachers.

And here we are, in the second year of COVID, having the exact same conversations about testing, school, safety, and what education will look like. And far too many schools are racing to get back to the exact same thing they were in December of last year. That has to be one of the most frustrating things. The world has not learned. The leaders have not learned. We could do things o very differently. But we don’t. We keep it exactly the same. Are we making our schools better for our children? Based on what some IB Diploma students said recently, no, we are treating it exactly the same.

Yes, I am frustrated. I am stressed. I am no sleeping well. I am struggling. I am an educator and a human.

Some of you are right where I am. Folks, it is totally okay!

I remember the comments about coming out of the lockdown with new skills, and how much better we would be. Shoot. I am just happy to be coming out of lockdown and the past year still on my feet. For many of our students, that may be the best that they are going to get too. Too many people are just trying to survive. Thriving is a pipe dream, not a reality.

But there is hope.

Even as I struggle, I have been listening to podcasts, reading commentary and online media that points towards movers and shakers making a difference. Or at least they are trying to. These are the people of the future. We need to support them when we see them.

For some, the light at the end of the tunnel is the dawning of a new day. For some, it is just another train barreling down the tracks. Whatever their situation, people need support.

It is Teacher Appreciation Week this week for many of my colleagues. It is a week to celebrate teachers and all the work that they do. Take time this week to say thank you to any educator who made a difference in your life. There are a lot of them. In this year, a thank you and a kind word means a lot.

If you are struggling, it is okay. We all are in our own way. Know that it is okay that you are just getting from one day to the next. You’ve got this. You are strong enough. Remember that tomorrow, the sun also rises and you start making choices on how you will respond. Will you get up or stay in bed? Will you eat breakfast or not? Will you make a difference or choose not to?

Each morning you have a choice. That is what keeps me going. Each morning, I get up, make coffee, complain about the construction behind my apartment, then get on with my day. Not every day is amazing. Most days aren’t. But, each day has some light in it.

Make good choices tomorrow. Life isn’t easy, but it is mostly how we react to it.

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Athletic Director, International School Educator, Observer of Human Behavior, and Classroom Management Mentor, Discussing Classrooms in Crisis

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Everett H.

Everett H.

Athletic Director, International School Educator, Observer of Human Behavior, and Classroom Management Mentor, Discussing Classrooms in Crisis

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