Education :: New Year, New Difficulties

Happy New Year!!! You survived 2020!!!

I’d love to tell you that 2021 is going to be better, but I can’t make any promises on that one… As I listen to the news and think back on the last year, January 1st doesn’t look very different from December 31st.

We’re still dealing with covid-19. We’re still trying to figure out how to reach our students when we can’t even see them in person. Some of us got to finally join together in-person in the classroom, only to now have things shut down all over again.

I know many of us have reached burnout several times over since March of 2020. We want our students to succeed. We want to reach everyone. And yet as we try to figure out how to do MORE, we realize we really have nothing left to give.

Christmas/Winter break has been wonderful, but we feel like it hasn’t been nearly enough to get us back on track for the next six months.

We all have students we know are falling further and further behind… and there’s nothing we can do.

Now you may be reading this post and thinking, “Brittany, you are not helping me at all! Where is your advice????”

Well, my friend, what I want to say is: YOU ARE AMAZING. 2020 was exhausting and tough. I’m sure we all had days where all we wanted to do was curl up in a ball and cry. And some of us – myself included – did exactly that. If you’re reading this, though, it means you made it into 2021. You didn’t give up. You kept pushing.

My suggestion for starting 2021 would be to contact your families. Don’t call to talk about how their student is doing with their school work. Don’t call to say what poor behavior a student exhibits online or in person. Call and say, “I just want to know: how are you doing?”

You have no idea the impact this will have on everyone involved. Some may not answer and that’s okay. They might be expecting a negative message, so it would help to leave a voicemail just saying that asking how they are is all you wanted.

I did this with people many times over the past year. Of course, with that it was our church members. However, the response I got was astounding. When we take a step away and just ask people how they’re doing, it changes the whole atmosphere for everyone involved.

I can’t say every family will be kind. There may be some that you know will turn into an angry tirade. If you already know that’s what will happen, hold off on those calls. This is supposed to be a positive experience.

If you get a negative response, feel free to message me in order to vent about it. Sometimes it helps to just let the angry energy out, and I promise I can take it.

I want nothing but the best for you as we strike out in unknown territory. I will continuously be praying for you. Even if you’re not so sure about the prayers, you can make requests. I have my contact page, a Facebook page, Instagram, and an email address! There are many ways to connect.

Here’s to the unknown, 2021!

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