If you are like me, about ten weeks ago, you were in panic mode. We were closing schools, shifting our learning environments online, and trying to teach remotely. But, after a few weeks, routine set in and things became a little more comfortable. They were not easy, but we became a little more confident with the process and how we could make it all work. Now, as we approach the end of the year, a bit of that panic has returned as we look to finishing the year (and all that comes with saying goodbye to our classes) and the uncertainty of what is to come in the future.
The isolation we are feeling as teachers, as parents, and as humans is real. In this isolation, it is crucial to reach out to those close to you. Support them. Permit them to say they are struggling. Let them know that you might be struggling too. Sometimes the challenge with not admitting we are struggling is people believing they have to hide their struggle from others. We bottle up the turmoil inside us until it becomes too much, our morale becomes too low, and we blow up.
As leaders, friends, parents, or teachers, we need to permit those around us to struggle. We need to permit them to be vulnerable. We must also allow ourselves to be vulnerable in these struggles. We must support each other right now. We have to understand those who might need support, and accept the support when it comes to us. This admission requires a great deal of vulnerability, admitting that help is needed and the acknowledgment that you are struggling.
Now, more than ever, we need each other. Usually, this time of year comes with so many celebrations and milestones. Trying to do it all from our living rooms is a daunting task at best. Reach out to others, share how you are feeling, celebrate the big and small success, and admit you need help when you do.