This is truly the strangest of strange. Yesterday, I didn't drive to my classroom for the first of the first days I've missed in 19 years. That's a looooooong time.
I'm taking a leave of absence to focus on my children's education, first, this year. Their school is remote- mine hybrid. So, my substitute is in place and my classroom is ready, but I'm not there.
Instead, I'm sitting here in a makeshift classroom I prepared for my children in our home. They are listening to their teachers and navigating screen freezing. It's been eighty minutes and my youngest has had two five minute breaks.
My mind is on the parents who are, like me, navigating teaching their own children in similar settings, but maybe, without 20 years of teaching experience.
Most people have survived or thrived due to their public education experience so we often think that teaching will be easy... we know something about what it means to teach. However, the spring taught us otherwise. It's not easy, not at all... especially when the kids are our own.
As many parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and neighbors re-engage in the curriculum, I'm keeping a mantra in my heart that's served me over all of the years.
There is no such thing and there is no beauty in perfection. Perfection is the cousin of shame. Whenever you have perfection in your heart, there is much opportunity to feel the weight of failure as crushing.
Instead, strive to embody your body- literally. Remember to breathe. Feel your feet on the ground. Remember to expect glitches and hiccups and problems. It is ok to take a break and to hide for a moment. It's good to laugh at yourself. Remember that it's ok to profess your mistakes and to celebrate them. In modeling these self-acceptance skills, we show our children healthy ways of dealing with the unknown in an unpredictable and imperfect environment- we can only bend and flow.
Kids will remember how you made them feel long after they forget all of the little facts and concepts of the day.
Education is about learning habits, opening up to creativity, curiosity and also- it should be about harnessing a sense of agency- the feeling that as a person we can empower ourselves to learn and that we are worthy of success.
Give yourself a dose of super strength this morning- give yourself the super power of grace and flexibility. Give yourself a hug and a high five. If we focus on how we feel we are more likely to make them feel pretty amazing about a stressful situation.