It’s 11:17 p.m. on a Wednesday. My cursor is taunting me as it blink, blink, blinks in blank text box in the back end of WordPress. Write something, it seems to say.

It knows I’ve neglected my blog for over a month. But, doesn’t it understand why?

Doesn’t it know that this virtual start to the 2020-2021 school year has proven more difficult than even expected? Doesn’t it know that we’re relearning and reinventing everything? Doesn’t it know how hard we’re working to counter the already present inequities in education that virtual learning threatens to exacerbate? Doesn’t it know that there’s no “clocking out”? Doesn’t it know about all the tech issues we’ve been resolving (or attempting to resolve)? Doesn’t it know about the ups, the downs, the twists, and the turns? Doesn’t it know that we miss seeing students’ faces rather than black, muted screens? Doesn’t it know that we’re also juggling the health and well-being of our own families, albeit, unsuccessfully at times?

Doesn’t it know…

I guess it doesn’t. Why? Because it’s a cursor, and the fact that I’ve personified a place marker is pretty telling about my current state of mind.

I should go to bed.

So, the post Virtual Learning: 101 Tips and Tricks That Will Make It ALL Better which I facetiously aspire to write will have to wait. I just don’t have the magic answers nor the bandwidth to write it at the moment. Every school/division has their own unique set of challenges to overcome, and our colleagues who we either stare at on screens or who stand 6 ft. apart from us in kidless school buildings are no doubt our greatest resources.

Everybody is struggling through this, even those with fancy websites who claim to know stuff. 🙂

This is one of the most trying things our students and their caregivers have had to do, too.

But, I like to view it as a productive struggle. At the end of the day, I am simply in awe of the pure grit I’ve witnessed from teachers, instructional coaches (like myself), administrators, etc.

We are adapting.

WE ARE MOVING MOUNTAINS!

And honestly, I’ve never been more proud to be an educator and to walk this walk alongside my fellow colleagues.

I keep reminding myself, “Progress over perfection.” Two steps forward and one step back is still one step forward.

I keep reminding myself that small wins lead to BIG results. Plus, celebrating them is just good for the soul.

I keep reminding myself that long-standing and just-drawn-up systems that don’t work can be reimagined.

I keep reminding myself to focus on the goals and not the obstacles.

I keep reminding myself that supporting students’ social-emotional needs must come first despite stressful standardized testing schedules.

I keep reminding myself that we have to grant ourselves the same grace we are gifting to others.

I keep reminding myself to start and end my days with gratitude.

I keep reminding myself (as I wrote in this article and still believe) that we are a talented and passionate family of professionals who can overcome anything with open hearts and open minds.

I keep reminding myself that I don’t always have to be a “yes” person. Drawing lines in the sand to maintain work/life balance is an absolute must.

And on that note…I keep reminding myself to log off. It’s now 12:23 a.m. Time to recharge.

My friends, make sure you’re regularly logging off for self-care, too.

Looking for something more practical? See Virtual Learning: 25 Social-Emotional Learning ActivitiesVirtual Learning: 13 Tips for Zoom Breakout Rooms, and Virtual Learning: 33 Ways to Build Relationships.

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