All educators are tired at this point. After a full year of COVID-19 school in 2020-2021 after the  Spring of 2020, educators did not expect another COVID-19 school year, but here we are. We need to stick together and strategically spend our energies this school year. Follow these three guiding principles to come through COVID-19.

Words Matter

Do not assume a parent, supervisor, or students know what you mean by “blended learning,” “distance learning,” “quarantine learning.” For any Pandemic-new term use the same model we do when speaking to students (parenthetically explainers).

Try it out (as in do it now).
You have to tell everyone exactly what you mean (this is an example, I’m “reading” you what would usually be assumed in parenthesis).

Assume nothing and establish (and then reestablish) Pandemic era teaching terminology routinely.

Maintain Balance

Are you training the people in your life to respect or ignore your boundaries?

Please stop responding to work emails after hours. In fact, remove work email from your phone. Seriously, I’ll wait.

(me waiting)

Establish norms for preserving your mental balance. When you respond right away to emails people feel engaged in a conversation; when you wait until the next business day people understand you are not waiting in your email. People will treat you/your inbox the way you train them.

I suggest some good rules for email {read: Email Hacks: Teacher Efficiency} that you can stick to and still keep your job.

Know the Needs

The one thing teachers are great at is knowing the needs of their students. There are an exponential amount of topics competing for our competition right now. But you need to block them out.

The one thing you can control is doing your job as well as you ever have. Online? From a distance? Only Tuesday and Thursday? Whatever. Teachers can still establish the needs of students in pandemic learning.

In fact, that is a comfort when so many other things are going crazy, that we can still do our job.

Don’t get caught up in debates about learning loss, get caught up is learning your kids and don’t lose those precious opportuniies!