We have just finished a four week summer session in our school district. The whole session was taught via the Zoom app. Needless to say, online education is a relatively new frontier for us. Going into it, no one was sure what to expect. Trying new things always requires some degree of faith and vulnerability. We must have the faith that we will figure things out as we go and be vulnerable enough to admit that we are not experts.
Lately, all of us have been experiencing a new adventure, together and as individuals. Do not feel bad if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed. It is okay to acknowledge feeling some form of fear, doubt or worry. Instead of being hard on yourself, remind yourself that you are not alone. Being kind to your self is the first step in extending that kindness and care to others.
One of the best ways to get through a new and daunting experience is to focus on the good. This means choosing to highlight what is going well, getting clear about what we do know, and taking time to appreciate what we are grateful for in the situation. While prepping to teach our summer session, my co-teachers and I met and discussed how we would organize our “classroom”. It became apparent that each of us brought unique gifts to the table. Before long, the pieces of the puzzle came together and excitement started to bubble up. This was a great indicator that we were headed in the right direction.
After the first day of class, we reconnected and found that those little bits of excitement were transforming into a sense of confidence that we were going to have a great session. Day after day, our confidence grew. Some students stepped forward as leaders, others required extra support. We combined our strengths as a learning community to facilitate the most effective and engaging lessons possible. By the end of the four weeks, all of the nervousness, excitement, and confidence left us with a feeling of accomplishment. We all agreed that we are now better equipped to handle online learning in the future.
Now is the time to implement the tools you have available to support your own well being. Remember to make a list of the things that you appreciate about your current situation. You can also set aside time to reach out to the people in your life that remind you that you are amazing and capable of thriving, regardless of conditions. If you do not know who that is, reflect on what resources you have available and start building your team. Remember, within you is everything you need to succeed in a whole new way.