March 29, 2020: New Normals....
Updated: May 8, 2020
As we wrap up another week in which people across our country are continuing to work from home and practice social distancing, it is hard not to reflect on how these new norms have impacted the core roles we have.
My teacher-life has changed dramatically. I am still teaching my 63 Elementary Gifted students and my 38 college students, but my daily interactions with them have turned digital and virtual.
Not naturally tech savvy, I have learned so much over these last 12 days! I have completed two on-line courses designed to help me teach on-line; I have expanded my class web site to try to fill in the gap left by not being in the same physical space as my elementary students; and I have shifted my college class to an entirely on-line webcourse. My head is spinning!!!!
Because I am now teaching virtually, I can do it where ever I can log onto my laptop computer. This is a blessing.
I am able to help out and spend more time with my granddaughters. My daughter, (an attorney) and my son-in-law, (a financial analyst) are both working from home, but without day care and school, they need another set of hands to help with the girls, ages 7 years old and nine months. As a teacher, it is a perfect fit. I can set up my laptop in their dining room, help Ellie with her projects and school work, play with and feed Piper, and still upload resources, check assignments, and post information for my students.
The down side is that I am still trying to find my balance and equilibrium in this new normal, so naturally some things have been neglected. My writing is one of those things.
Prior to this crisis, I had been making great progress on the draft of my newest book, had been submitting a couple of finished manuscripts, and had even been doing a little research for a new idea that is percolating. While those things have not ground to a halt, progress in now minuscule and minute. If I get a few sentences written on the draft, I call that a win. My standards and expectations have shifted. And I no longer think that is a cop-out.
I think that in times of great change and stress it is important to treat ourselves gently. To give ourselves permission to temporarily step back from our usual standards and say it is ok to not be perfect. It is ok to stumble and make mistakes as we navigate this new world in which we find ourselves. After all- none of us have ever been in this situation before. We are ALL just figuring it out as we go along. Trying to find our new normal.