Inspiring hope…

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” – Brad Henry

This is the second blog on hope during this crisis and it is designed to inspire the teacher that is powered on nothing but hope and imagination.  As traditional teachers, many didn’t feel the need to acquire an abundance of skills beyond those needed to use the technology in the classroom or on the district’s interface.  However, during this worldwide crisis, we have gained so many new skills.  Although many of them have been unintentional, they are now added to the toolbox of necessary skills.  When we look at our students and what we expect them to pick up over the course of the year, much of it is grounded in learning how to use new applications and memorize logins aimed at giving them access to portals that may be beyond their reach initially. 
During this crisis, we have been asked to do the same thing.  Many of us have excelled, a few have dug in kicking and screaming, but none of us have quit.
Good teachers inspire hope, and it is our hope, combined with love that power our collective journeys.  We hope that we will eventually get back to the classroom and inside the walls of the school so that we can continue impacting our students.  What we fail to realize is that we have already made an impact. 
By showing up to each live session with a new skill or tool, we are giving our students the hope and inspiration they need to continue.  They see us showing up and trying and that’s why they continue to show up.  We’ve engaged in good teaching these last few weeks because we’ve checked all of the necessary boxes designed to inspire kids.  The crisis won’t last forever, but the impact of perseverance will! 

Teaching with Hope In Mind…

“Hope is not cancelled.”  ~ State Farm

On March 13th, our students left the building with packets of work, a few pencils, old papers, and a sense of uncertainty.  As a veteran educator, I’ve closed out 13 school years.  Each with its own set of challenges, but even I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that something wasn’t right about the way we left things. Although we were told it would only be two weeks, the feeling of heaviness lasted for some time.

One week later, we realized that the two weeks would turn into four. And most recently, schools have closed indefinitely amid concerns that returning too soon would cause great harm.  During all of this uncertainty, I still have hope that our students are able to maintain a sense of calm without the stability that their classrooms, desks, routines and teachers provide.

However, our students aren’t the only ones that need this routine.  Educators need this as well. As I was watching television, I saw the most beautiful commercial and at the end, there was a message etched in the fence.  The message said, “Hope is not cancelled.”  I needed to see that message, on that day. For whatever reason it inspired this post.

Our students deserve better answers than the ones we are able to provide, but although we can’t give them the answers that they need, we can give them a sense of hope that things will work out.

After virtual lessons, I encourage you to have conversations with your students.  Let them know that although we don’t know much about what comes next, we need to remain positive.  What we feed our spirit becomes our thoughts and thoughts become things. If we give our students a sense of hope, they can continue to encourage the folks around them as well.  The most essential aspect of our job now is to remind our students that although school as they know it is cancelled, hope remains: Hope is never cancelled.