The One Thing We Need More Of
“I feel like I’m doing everything wrong. I just know that I’m not as good of a teacher as I was last year. It sucks.”
A friend of mine ( a veteran teacher of thirteen years) said this to me as we chatted over coffee last week. She’d been back in school (teaching in-person) for just over a week. She felt overwhelmed with all of the expectations, the demands, and the general anxiety of being back in the building. I saw her lean back in her chair, slump forward, and look so defeated.
I took a giant sip of my coffee, and told her: “It sounds like you need to show yourself a little bit more grace.” She didn’t say anything back. She stared at me, while I could see her replaying the events of previous days in her head.
I smiled at her and encouraged all that she’d done. In just a few days, she managed to:
Completely shift her teaching style to teach online
Learned how to use the virtual learning system
Connected with each student in a one-on-one meeting to check-in on their overall well-being
I don’t know about you, but those are some major wins! But, because of her stress and overwhelm, she was trapped in the things that hadn't gone well. I can relate.
Even if you’re not an educator, I know you can remember a time where you needed to show yourself more grace. I can probably think of a dozen within just a few seconds.
We’re all really hard on ourselves. 2020 has shifted so much of life as we know it, and we’re having to be flexible learners, while not knowing what exactly is happening tomorrow. I find myself noticing the mistakes in everything I’ve done, instead of honoring what I’ve done well.
Remember to be kind to yourself. This isn’t an easy day/month/year for any of us, and I’m led to believe that we should give ourselves a lot of grace for what we’re able to accomplish - no matter how small. Be proud of what you’ve done and honor how you’ve been able to put one foot forward.
It all counts.