Updated: Jun 1, 2020
Raise your hand if you're with me? Especially right now because we are living on Google Meet / Zoom calls, and we are continually being told to mute. All the while, we are hiding what we are feeling inside our heads. And so are our kids
Being social is part of life, but right now, being social feels like it is being put on hold or feels completely different than we usually interact. Social skills are a big part of school. We are continually learning how to communicate, how to perspective take, how to feel when other people are in the room. But on a video call? Well, things are just so different. How can we truly understand what everyone feels when they are muted for most of the meeting? And that's not to shame anyone. We have to be muted, or else all chaos breaks out, and it is painful to hear all the background noise everywhere. But, there has got to be a way to give everyone a voice regardless of being muted.
So, what do we do?
We ask. And we keep asking. Holding our feelings inside our bodies causes us to feel stressed, tired, depressed, anxious. All things we as educators feel anyway, but especially in this time of distance learning, it is even more heightened. We miss our kids. Our kids miss us. We are having lots of feelings. We need to find ways to check in and identify what we are feeling and explicitly teach our kids how to identify what they are feeling as well. We know the importance of relationships. By asking kids how they are feeling, we are telling them that we see them, that we care, and that we are here for them regardless of being a computer screen away.
On a scale of gifs...
The next time you are in a Google Meet, present your screen and have the kids (or staff) type in the chat what number they are. You can also have them hold up their fingers to show what number they are.
Let it out.
Thank God for our #teachertribe. Let's be real. We could not do this job without them. So, let it out. Talk to someone about how things are going. Listen to someone. And take care.