“It’s been crazy, but we all did it together. I’m glad that I was able to help you, and I’m always here if you need me!” This quote came from a text that a coworker recently sent me, and it’s made me smile ever since. It’s been a wild first quarter, and there’s no way that I would’ve been able to get through it alone. Teaching at times can be an incredibly lonely career, and COVID has only exacerbated that feeling. As I look through old text messages on my phone, I quickly notice a pattern. During the first few weeks of school, there is often an endless amount of conversation, and then it quickly dies down as the school year gets going, and each teacher starts to get into something relative to a routine.
This year, however, has been an exception. The flurry of text messages seems to come in waves. One week our confidence shoots up; the next week, that same confidence seems to come crashing down. Nothing about this school year is the same as the ones in the past. While as teachers, we have more than enough experience with multitasking and learning as we go, this year, it’s on a macro-level, and for the majority of us, we’re alone at home while trying to make it all happen.
There’s a quote that I often see going around social media that says, “Teachers need other teachers. This is not a job that can be done alone. Collaboration and friendship are vital in keeping teachers sane and happy.” As teachers, we spend the majority of our time locked away in our classrooms (whether that be an in-person classroom or a Google classroom), and when we do get time to meet as a team, it’s often rushed as we’re trying to cover everything before the end of specials.
Now more than ever, as teachers, we need to be sticking together:
- Send those positive texts out to your team.
- Come together as a staff and create secret buddies.
- Make sure every team member is getting their voice heard during collaboration meetings, especially those brand new teachers.
- Make time to observe each other’s virtual teaching.
This is a brand new world for so many of us, but I would love to see us all come out of this closer than ever. What are some ways your districts/schools are working to bring teachers together?