Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

If you’ve somehow missed all the coronavirus posts, recommendations and people generously sharing teaching resources, I’m pretty impressed with your persistance. And while I don’t intend this to be a coronavirus post, the reality for many teachers is similar to mine. We are facing a different type of teaching than we are used to, many while juggling having our own children home with us.

Friday was a strange day for me. Life in Washington State had been tense all week, and on Friday we found out that we needed to shut down immediately rather than wait for the end of the school day or our Governor’s subsequent announcement mandating school closure. So at 11 am I was checking out scared students, some of whom were in tears. I was struggling with my own emotions- because of how the virus has spread here, I no longer felt that I could in good conscience travel to my sister’s wedding, which is scheduled for this weekend.

Then there were ALL the internet posts about homeschooling- the kind ones from people wanting to help, the self-righteous ones from people assuming that regular schooling parents would be horrified at all this time with their children, and the silly ones promoting unlimited screen time and a real life reenactment of Lord of the Flies. ( I chose to mostly read those.)

Here’s the truth all teachers know: we never totally have the situation under control. But every day we do our best to reach each student and to help build their knowledge in appropriate steps. The same is going to be true for all of us moving forward. Teachers will be figuring out how to teach remotely and parents will be figuring out how to manage this new normal. And we will all make mistakes. That’s ok. I’ve made a million mistakes in my ten years of classroom teaching, but learning from those mistakes has helped me become a stronger and more empathetic teacher.

I don’t know what my next six weeks as a distanced teacher will look like. But I know that I will learn how to be a better teacher through it. I know that I will continue to want the best for my students, wherever they are learning. I will also try to post as many awesome ideas, book reviews and products as I can here, to help those of you on the front lines of home education. I will pray for all of us, for our health and safety. Please pray for me and my family too.

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