“I need help!”
The plea held a tinge of panic. I looked over to see my five-year-old friend perched halfway up the rope ladder. She had changed her mind mid-climb and was feeling insecure about the descent.
I walked to her side.
“I think you can do it. Just move your hands down a bit so you’ll be able to hold on while you lower yourself to the next rung.”
She scooted one hand down, then the next. Then she gingerly let her right foot search for the rung below. Her left foot followed.
“That’s it. Now do the same thing again.”
Hand. Hand. Foot. Foot.
She repeated the steps until she reached the bottom.
“See?” I said. “I knew you could do it by yourself.”
“I kind of needed some encouraging.”
And just like that, I thought, Don’t we all.
We are four weeks into online school, and the expectations for teachers and students are really ramping up this Monday. As the workload increases, we are asking questions like,
- Are we supposed to teach new content or just review?
- What do we do about the students who don’t have a device?
- What about those who aren’t coming to the meetings?
- What about my students who are used to having one-on-one support?
- How do we grade fairly?
- There are so many equity issues, how do we do all of this fairly?
And the panic begins to settle in. Like my little friend, I want to yell, “I need help!”
But if we don’t allow panic to reign, if we can slow our breath and still our heartbeat, we too can focus on the incremental steps to get us where we want to go. It doesn’t have to be fast, and it doesn’t have to be graceful. Just hand, hand, foot, foot. I’m not sure what that looks like for you, but a little encouragement can go a long way. So, consider yourself encouraged. We’ve got this! And don't forget about this resource that might provide welcome support.
During this uncertain time, we will continue to connect with you through our Tip each Friday providing you an inspirational story and resources that can be used in a school setting or adapted to meet your students’ needs at home or virtually. If you have an idea that you would like to share, email us here. Together, we will continue learning so that we are ready when we return to school with our students. ❤️