I do not have all the answers. Despite all the research, the on-the-ground work, the constant reading, I’m still learning. I’m discovering new tools, new methods, new concepts, new ideas. That is both the curse and the beauty of education–it is in a constant state of change and evolution; the work and learning is never done.
Now, sometimes I have enough time and energy to read 10 books on a topic. I have enough time to discuss and debate with colleagues for hours, days. Other times, I want to learn but only have enough time and energy for a single thought, a single bit of reflection, or a single dose of inspiration.
When time is limited, I go to social media, blogs, and websites.
My favorite forums, ones that I highly recommend are:
Each of these speakers, experts, and platforms are incredible inspiration for me. If you click on any of them, or all of them, you will notice that they are equity-driven, equity-focused, resources.
Equity and access, mirrors and windows, providing the most welcoming inclusive education for students is the core of my work. So, I seek out material and places where I can work through short exercises, read about new concepts, or learn a new bit of information–and I seek it out daily.
If I have enough time to read a book, that’s good. If I only have enough time for an Instagram post, that’s still good, still worth recognition. Why? Because if it is the core of my work, if it drives me, if I am committed to it, then every moment–big and small–is an opportunity to increase my capacity. And with that in mind, if you only have a few moments, or if you need a daily dose of inspiration and reflection, I recommend checking out Dr. Courtney Rose, Love.Tanesha, Teach and Transform, Teaching Tolerance, The Conscious Kid, and the Zinn Education Project . . . and if you find other equally amazing platforms, definitely let me know!
Last year was a year unlike any other. This year is shaping up to be a similar situation:
When will we go back to our classrooms?
Will we ever go back to our classrooms?
Can we wear masks–all day?
Are shields better than masks?
How do we social distance . . . in a classroom?
How will evaluations work?
Who attends on what days?
What does funding look like?
What programs will we use online? How do we use them?
. . . there are many questions. And while we can answer some before we begin the school year, so much cannot be answered until we are in the trenches.
So this month, and for this year, my advice: just do your best. It’s the only thing we can do.
This is a new experience, and a new roadmap, for everyone. All we can do is our best.
Sometimes our best will mean the internet is great, the lesson translates via the laptop, and learning is happening as planned; sometimes our best will mean waiting for the internet to catch-up, repeating yourself because the connection was interrupted, and all that planned learning for today, happens tomorrow. As long as you’re doing your best, I am proud of you, and applaud you.