This week has not been going well. I'm trying to ways to keep kids engaged, but they are weary. I am weary. And there's no better way to say this, but I do NOT like teaching this way. Despise might be a better word in this instance.
I don't want to hear the "You can do this!", "We're in this together!", and the ever so popular, "We've got this!". Stop already. I know that I can do this, horribly, but I can pull it together. What I want to hear is validation in my feelings. There is nothing positive about teaching to students who don't answer you, don't have their cameras on, and you know nothing about them. There is no way to prevent cheating, so I've stopped trying. I'll be able to tell if I give them something in person, and they can't do it. It's difficult to teach to a group who is here in the room, but also a group that's at home. There is nothing positive about teaching in a pandemic. Period. I try to find the silver linings some days, but today is not that day.
When teachers talk about how difficult this year is, listen to them. Let them vent. Don't gaslight them by trying to feed positive one-liners. That, my friends, is toxic positivity. Validate their feelings and let them know that you are listening. I know by now my husband and parents are tired of listening to how hard this situation is, but they continue to listen to my frustrations and tell me that they know it's hard.
If you are a parent of a student, please validate their feelings, but also remind them that their teacher is doing the best they can and that it's important to stay engaged in class no matter how much they want to check out.
This year I've feel like I've aged a lot and to think that it's only October is crazy! Treat the teachers in your life with some wine or chocolate. It's a struggle out here.