Hard, not impossible – Back to School 2020

Come with me for a moment into a first grade classroom.  A first grader sits at her desk holding a book. She stares at the words, but nothing comes to mind.  She says “Reading is impossible.” How do you respond?

Really think about it. What would you say?

Do you tell her “You’re right, let’s close the book! It is impossible. Reading is cancelled”? No way! You start looking for and teaching her strategies to navigate this new territory. It’s hard, but not impossible!

Now let’s think back to just a few months ago in March. Distance learning felt impossible. Turns out you did it! It was hard but not impossible! You’ve already proven it can be done. Perfect? No Without serious drawbacks? No. But NOT impossible.

What you’re about to do this back to school season… Hard? Yes! Really hard? Absolutely! Uncertain and uncomfortable? Yes! But not impossible.

…But you can and will do this. You’ve done hard things before.  I’m not saying for a second that whatever plan your district develops is going to solve all problems, or even that you’ll agree with it or think it’s best. It won’t serve every single kiddo or family in the very best way that your heart is so tied to doing. It’s not going to be perfect, it’s not going to be easy, and it’s not impossible.

You must know, it is possible.

Online distance learning: Hard, but not impossible

Hybrid instruction: Hard, but not impossible

In person instruction with crazy social distancing guidelines: Hard, but not impossible

Just be careful jumping on the impossibility bandwagon. If you’re struggling to find a place to start in this hard time, this post might help you get started.

Shift your mindset to focus on some of this advice from some very important and famous sources:

*“Pobody’s Nerfect”– Pam Beasley, The Office. Ok ok I know this quote really dates back to like the 50’s in entertainment and was probably said even before then, but the sentiment remains.  Don’t expect to do everything right the first time. Remember to approach any school year, especially this one, with the mindset of growth, progress, but not instant perfection. 

*“We’re all in this together”– High School Musical (sorry for the earworm).  Learn from one another, share with one another. Don’t expect to do it alone. Lean on teacher friends, work in groups, ask teacher authors to create the things you need! 

 *“Manage your expectations.”– My mom, #1 super star in my life.  In this case: Expect Change, expect a little resistance to change, expect hiccups (tech, classroom management etc). When you expect the hard stuff, you’ll be able to respond with positivity and change course when needed. 

Don’t underestimate yourself. Don’t for one second let the students and parents counting on you hear you say and believe that this is impossible. It is possible and YOU are about to prove it!

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