Someone shared this YouTube video with me of a group of 9 to 13 year olds singing a cover of this song to essential workers. They are thanking doctors, teachers, grocery store workers, and more, in the most tender-hearted way.
To all of you teachers out there on the front lines, sanitizing desks, iPads, and markers just to make it through the school day. The teachers navigating Zoom to teach students. To those early childhood educators working out creative ways to still make toys and play a part of the classroom. To the college professors doing everything they can to follow school protocol, and encouraging your students to do the same. The professors pre-recording lectures for students to watch online.
To those risking their lives.
To those who are starting their first year of teaching all over again (p.s. that’s all teacher’s this year).
To the overwhelmed and the underpaid.
Please listen to this song.
“No matter what you’re facing, you are my inspiration. You’re the fire that doesn’t know how to back down.”
Never. Ever. Give. Up.
These kids need you now more than ever. You’ve got this.
Please share with a teacher, a doctor, a nurse, a delivery driver, a grocery store worker, or anyone else on the front lines who may need to hear this.
I know I just wrote about my blog schedule and that Monday’s are dedicated to past teachers and the influence they had on me/ still have on me. However, I felt like this subject was important to write about and it has been on my mind for weeks and weeks.
Schools going back in the fall. There are so many politics behind this that I will not get involved in, but I still have been thinking about so many other situations.
I worry about teachers who are putting their health at risk by going back.
I worry about teachers who financially rely on this income to support their families and do not have the flexibility to find a new job, especially in this economy.
I worry about retired teachers and those who have chosen not to go back next year that feel guilty for not being on the front lines as a teacher, but shouldn’t feel this way.
I worry about the students’ health.
I worry about COVID outbreaks in schools.
I worry about the parents’ mental health either with sending kids back to school and the stress that comes with that, or keeping them home and again, the stress that comes with that.
I worry about the students that utilized school as their refuge from undesirable home life and will not have that in their life.
There are worries left and right about going back to school, keeping kids home, and all of the inconsistency this Fall brings for us.
But we do have one certainty we always know to be true- The teachers will show up. They will adapt to online learning, socially distant classrooms, and more. There may be anxiety and stress behind it, but they will show up. It has proven true time and time again, and with my own teacher friends I’ve followed on social media. Most of them have expressed their frustrations and concerns, but at the same time, I see them wearing masks and making their classrooms socially distant. They worry about their students too and how much they will miss if they are learning from home without the proper support.
How is your school going back in the Fall? What are you worried about and what can you look forward to?
I apologize for being somewhat distant from this blog for a few days. I try to post as regularly as I can, usually Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. People like consistency!
Lately I’ve been processing so many different situations and emotions.
How I personally can change my home and my community to support Black lives matter. Here are a few books we added to our home that was a small step in the right direction.
My feelings on opening schools this fall considering the COVID-19 pandemic, and worrying about my kids’ colds they’ve been fighting. Something that didn’t cross my mind as worrisome until a pandemic brought added anxiety into everything.
Keeping all of my teacher and administrator friends in mind as new rules, regulations, processes, information, etc., come out regarding the next school year, and finding ways I can support them.
Considering whether or not it’s a good idea for me to go back to substitute teaching considering the risks.
How well positive reinforcement is working for my daughter’s behavior right now, and how much my own attitude, anxiety, and feelings rub off on my kids. An important thing to remember during such a roller coaster of a year.
Processing the information being shared on child trafficking and deciding how and where I have the ability to help.
It’s not secret that in the education world and our children’s lives are surrounded with uncertainty and scary situations. Teacher’s across the nation and the globe are up at night thinking, planning, worrying, and more. Parents are doing the same.
But deep breaths everyone, WE CAN DO THIS!
Where are your thoughts and feelings in all of this? What are your feelings on going back to work and sending your kids back to school? What are you doing to cope with the uncertain times?
To all of my loyal readers out there, I’m sorry I’ve been a little MIA the last few weeks.
I’ve been working from home for my company, Honors Graduation, a graduation outfitters store. April and May are very busy for them with graduations all over the United States going on. This year, despite graduations being canceled all over the nation, they are still as busy as ever. I wanted to share a few things I’ve been able to witness as a customer service rep for them over the last few weeks.
Parents ordering their student’s graduation items because schools are not handing them out with graduation being canceled.
Schools are still ordering cords, caps, tassels, and more for students to keep. They are also paying extra to have them shipped to individual students so that they don’t have to go out to the schools to pick up the items.
Grandparents, parents, club advisors, teachers, and schools have ordered embroidered custom stoles for their graduates who can’t have graduation this year.
Parents working hard to put on virtual graduations for their kids, with family and friends tuning in via Zoom.
Schools setting up virtual graduations via Zoom.
Paying extra in shipping costs because schools have been moving graduation dates around.
Parents buying all of the graduation essentials so that their kids can take graduation pictures.
So many custom stoles ordered to provide graduates with as much recognition as one can give at this time.
Overall, working for this company I have seen first hand how hard everyone is working to recognize our graduates during this uncertain time. Working customer service is obviously full of unhappy customers with a problem- that is why customer service exists! But on those occasions where someone tells me their heartwarming story of their college graduate who worked so hard to achieve this goal, and how they just want to purchase a cap and gown so that she can have something to remember this by.
When someone thanks us for being open during this crazy time so that they can still have their needs met.
I know times are crazy and uncertain right now, but I can’t help but to slow down myself and see everyone rally together. It’s incredible.
How have you witnessed a greater collaboration of a society? Whether on a larger scale or in a smaller, community scale? How have you shown your graduate recognition during this time?
If you are or know of a graduate that could use some encouragement during this time, check out my open letter to college graduates part one and part two.
A mom somewhere out there with kids at home during this global pandemic recognized an opportunity for keeping a record of the history that is being made right now as we speak. She created a FREE printable of a time capsule for kids to fill out. It’s all information that someday they can look back on and serve as a memory for this time in our lives.
Here’s what the time capsule looks like, and how I’m doing it with my 2.5 year old daughter.
This is only four of the 11 included pages full of great information for your child to fill out. And it’s doable with tiny kids that can’t write too! Our time capsule looks a lot of scribbling and random marks with me filling in information that my daughter reiterates to me. I ask her all of the questions and try to fill in exactly what she says.
I pulled out the crayons for her to add some color, but having a pen to use was much more exciting to her, so we went with it! I love that this time capsule is so her right now and that years down the road we can look back and remember her obsession with pens and Doc McStuffins. It’s also easy to do one page, then come back when you’re ready to continue with the rest of the pages. No rush in getting it done fast- the pandemic seems to be taking its sweet time!
The mom who made this has taken over the internet quickly with how popular it became, if you Google “kids COVID time capsule” you can see news article after news article about her and how generous she was in sharing this with the world!
We made it through *roughly* a month of shutdowns across the world due to COVID-19. You out there as teachers, parents, and educators in any way, how are you holding up? How are you doing?
This isn’t easy for majority of us. Us as the teachers, our students, or the faithful parents trying to step in while we can’t be there.
I know we are all worried about our students with fewer resources at home such as WiFi or lack of usable devices for school work. We’re wondering what impact this is going to have on our classrooms next year. We’re knee-deep in the unknown right now, how have you been doing through all of this?
We all need grace right now. Give yourself grace, give your students grace, and give your own children grace.
I know you’re stressed, we’re all walking in uncharted territory right now. Schools shutting down left and right, or if your school is still open, very few students showing up each day. How do we help our kids? How do we help them not regress during this stressful time? How do we calm their nerves as well as our own?
It’s hard to be in the situation we are all in. It’s hard not to see your student’s faces every day, and have to worry about if they have enough food or if their behavior will regress (again) once they are back. So many variables for so many different situations.
Luckily, we’re all going through this together and there are resources out there for us! Our community is banding together and helping where we can. Here is a quick list of the fun things you can send home to your parents for your students to do during their time away from school.
Mo Willems is doing lunch doodles every day with kids. His first episode was 22 minutes long, his most recent episode was 27 minutes long. They are at 1 pm Eastern Time every day on YouTube, or they can watch them whenever they like later.
On Instagram, @macbarnett is doing a live read-aloud of his books every day at noon PST.
Cincinnati Zoo is doing a live video on their Facebook page each weekday at 3 pm Eastern Time. They will be highlighting their favorite animals and sending kids off to do an activity from home.
At nps.gov kids can download special interest books.
Our local library here in Utah is live-streaming their storytime on Instagram live every weekday at 11 am MST and a boredom buster for kids at 4 pm. You can follow them at @provolibrary
Utah’s Hogle Zoo is doing a Facebook and Instagram live every day at 11:30 am MST featuring their fun animals and educating them on each one.
Search around on every social media platform and you are certain to find a variety of posts and live videos geared towards educating kids because everyone can see the need right now. Also, a simple post to help parents make it through as well.
Other resources you most likely know as a teacher, but maybe haven’t mentioned to parents yet:
GoNoodle, Khan Academy, Newsela, National Geographic Kids, PBS kids, Starfall ABC app and Starfall.com, VOOKS, Virtual Field Trips, and Lucid Charts. Also, remind students they can still collaborate with peers via Google Drive.
Guys, we can do this. It’s going to be hard and uncomfortable for most, but we can band together amidst the chaos and confusion.
What other tips and resources do you have for parents and teachers? Let’s start a list together, we can go further with collaboration!