Saturday, August 15, 2020

Roll with it

Day 4 of the school year has been completed, with Maddy and Teddy navigating distance learning. Due to our essential workers' status, Grey and I enrolled both kids into a learning pod at their school for the morning instruction followed by a pod for aftercare, leaving me to cover school instruction post-lunch. There have been so many balls in the air just with navigating how distance learning is happening for these kids  (Google Classroom, Zoom meetings, and Seesaw), so adding in this learning pod arrangement has also been another level.

Never mind the fact I've been teaching from 10 pm -12 am my time for the past 2 weeks, developing curriculum, running pilots, and managing the panicked state/lack of attention from my learners.

It would be logical to be insanely anxious about all of this, but looking at the schedule on Sunday and after having a short cry due to a house being in utter chaos, I found the Id part of my brain took over and the theme became "roll with it."

Yes, both kids have missed a couple Zoom meetings. Yes, we've been missing worksheets during lessons (which I've had to recreate on the fly). Yes, we're all exhausted and need a weekend to recharge. But the beauty of rolling with it, accepting that "good enough" is the hero in the story of what should be utter chaos and that recognizing how much the teachers, both at school and in their learning pods, are giving to make this work, is seeing the potential of what can be done and recognizing the changes we're long overdue to be made.

For the past 2 weeks, I've been taking a Virtual Trainer course with my coworkers. And what we've been confronting through the absence of in-person instruction is the recognition that many things we thought were working actually weren't working as well as we thought. It has been hard to see curriculum and practices that have been the labor of love for so many literally getting tossed in the waste bin, and I can confess I've had my moments of panic seeing things I thought were done going back into draft mode. But what's been coming out is something that wouldn't have been possible before; seeing the budding of projects and curriculum that was previously dormant.

A year ago, a paper was published about how paradigm shifts occur when star scientists die. The argument made by the authors is that change can't happen when those dominating a field or thought process are still occupying the stage. I for one am going to argue that the pandemic has ushered in a new form of death, shifting so many perceptions about life and how the world functions. The rules that existed for so long, with certain practices being best are in direct contradiction with keeping people safe. Survival means listening to the outsiders in order to find a new way.

I'll confess, I still have my moments. A midnight training on software really didn't go the way I hoped, leaving me in a bit of a panic. Sending Maddy and Teddy to learning pods leaves me with a since of guilt as others talk about how they are making the decision to keep their kids home (I commend them; it's not an option for us). And it's been a week of adjustments for all of us. 

But the beauty of rolling with it, accepting that there isn't a perfect, has allowed for so much good to come about even after 4 days. To hear the kids are better with masks and social distancing than most adults, to be learning new tricks for Zoom from them (they found the emojis for the chat function), and to be able to take what they are doing and incorporating with global training for a biotech company that is on the front-lines of this pandemic and learning that we're actually training better than before, has been something to hold onto. All of it "good enough" instead of "perfect." I'm starting to see the value in that.

1 comment:

  1. I need this lesson. It is so hard to do "good enough" when you want things to be just-so, but it's freaking impossible in this pandemic time. I loved this: "The rules that existed for so long, with certain practices being best are in direct contradiction with keeping people safe. Survival means listening to the outsiders in order to find a new way." It's kind of where my head is, getting ready to get back to school and trying to find a balance between the teaching I used to know and what awaits me, a hybrid neither here-nor-there thing I'm unfamiliar with. But I'm going to roll with it! :)


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