It is a difficult September as most of America attempts to go back to school in person, online, or as a hybrid model. My colleagues who are still working are so frustrated. They are working hard and still trying to iron out the technical issues, get to know the students' names, help their own children at home to learn, and, in some cases, teach a new curriculum and/or introduce a new book.
Now is a very trying time to be a teacher, and I am glad I am retired. It seems like most of my former colleagues are working twice as hard, but they feel like they are chasing their own tails in circles.
Since teaching is completely about relationships, the beginning of this school year is much more difficult than ending last school year. Teachers already knew their students. They had shared classroom space and ideas for at least two months into the second semester before the shutdown happened. Starting fresh with new students is much more difficult.
I say this. Be honest with your students. Tell them that you are learning along with them, and that you are doing the best you can. Ask them for patience from them, just as you will be patient with them in the coming days. If I know anything about kids after teaching 37 years, it is this: students will respond to the authentic and sincere teacher. You may even be able to teach a few lessons on empathy on the side. They know what it is like to try hard, be frustrated, and try again. They will appreciate you more, and making the grand gesture of honesty and disclosure may prompt making relationships with your students happen more quickly.
I am so sad for all the students and the teachers who much deal with new ways of teaching during this pandemic. I believe if students see you doing your best, they will also do their best. Good luck, Friends.
Visit Dede's web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required reading. Signed copies are available www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics.
II LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books. Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self. However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired!
Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book. I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
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