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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

This is Not Just an Egg

Hey there, teacher friends (and parents)! Here's a little encouragement if you are in the middle of transitioning to a distance learning (called continuous learning here in Kansas)...

About a month ago, I had a happy little accident with my breakfast. My eggs, which I used to cook hard or scrambled, were not quite done and I braved a whole new world (for me) and tasted the goodness of a runny yolk. 

You may laugh, but I am completely serious. Up to this point in my life, everything had to be cooked well done. People tell me this is why I don't like steak...probably true. Too much chewing. But I even recently managed to finish a hamburger that was slightly pink. This is progress, people. You have no idea.

Anyway, since I learned that I actually like my eggs over easy, it has taken some breaking of habits and learning a new way of cooking to get that perfect egg. 

In the beginning, I would often accidentally break the yolk. Old habits die hard. It took several times to remind myself, "Don't break the yolk!"

Then I had to try some various cooking methods. I tried steaming by using a makeshift lid, but because I didn't have a real lid and was using an upside down pan I couldn't tell when they were done. Cooked too long. Not long enough. I consulted YouTube for help and found a few good videos. I practiced. And I'm happy to tell you that I'm pretty good at cooking my eggs over-easy now. It doesn't mean I don't have a broken yolk now and then. It doesn't mean I'm perfect.

As I sat down to eat my eggs this morning and was reflecting on our first planning day for "continuous learning," the Lord showed me that this whole thing is a lot like my eggs. 

First, it was not a happy accident that put us where we are in teaching, but like or not, COVID-19 has made it necessary to venture into some unknown territory for teachers and parents (like me trying things that are not cooked well done).

Second, old habits die hard. We are fighting for some sense of normalcy and control. Listening in on my teacher friends who are still in the general classroom, I understand their frustrations and concerns. They want to "control" the learning their students will get in these final weeks of the semester. It is our natural tendency. We feel responsible for their learning. 

However, in this situation we control very little. As teachers, we can attempt to give students and families the resources they need to continue their learning. We can do our best to attempt to meet the various needs of our families, but that is all we can do. 

In all honesty, I feel for the parents and families right now. They are in the middle of uncertain times with any number of concerns (that do not have to do with school) and we are about to bombard them with expectations for their child's learning at home. 

Teachers - It is okay. Make the best decisions you can for your students in this situation. Do your best.

Parents and Caregivers - It is okay. Be patient with teachers who really do just want to continue partnering with you for your child's education. Do your best.

Third, this is a learning process for us all. Teachers--especially elementary--are really entering into the unknown. We feel badly that we haven't been able to teach and model how to use the apps and resources we are about to push out to families. We are learning new things. Trying new things. We are practicing. We will mess up (and break a yolk now and then).

However, maybe we will find something we really like along the way. Some new way of teaching that we will continue even when we can report back to our classrooms. For me...I'm creating a Facebook group page and Google Classroom for the purpose of sharing resources. Now why didn't I think of that before?

Teachers - It is okay. Try new things. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Try the next thing. Find what works best for you.

Parents - It is okay. Try new things. Make mistakes. Be patient when we make mistakes. Try the next thing. Find what works best for your child, your family.

So remember...it's not just an egg. It's not just continuous (or distance) learning. It's a process. And as long as we are all trying our best to do what is best for our kids, it is all going to be okay! 

Have a blessed day!

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