"Here" as in pandemic and "here" as in the weeds of teaching in the most transformative time in education that any of us have known in our lifetimes.
Back in April, a good friend, former colleague, and often co-writer and I wrote a short guest blog post for ASCD Inservice called Create a minimalist mindset in moments of crisis. We wrote this as wee offering of the mindset that each of us hold - that good teaching can occur even when you are left in a lurch with what feels like nothing.
Well, it's October, and we seem to still be in this non-stop crisis loop. In our post, we give 5 key ideas to key our minds and spaces tuned in for during crises, because the reaction is to flounder, and it seems like we are still floundering.
Let's focus on one of those points: clarify your goal(s).
How can you even identify your goal when there's a million things in the ether clouding your vision?
1. Think about what your task is, whether it's teaching your class during block 4 (in your classroom or online), or attending a Zoom meeting with your admin or team
2. Now ask yourself: what is my goal here? What's the first thing that comes to mind? Is the goal of teaching your class to focus on getting to know them? Is the goal of your meeting with your team to look at the week's upcoming math lessons? Your answer should come to you pretty quickly and naturally.
3. If you identified your goal easily, awesome. But, what do you had to think too hard to identify your goal? Perhaps rethink the task, meeting, or lesson. You have many people to accommodate and your time is precious, so you want to ensure all the time you spend with your students and colleagues is well-used. Plan lessons that require thoughtful planning but little preparation, lessons that have multiple levels of meaning and impact, and send emails when possible instead of holding meetings.
Planning your time with intention is a way to help you reduce the perpetual feeling of band-aiding the next trip-and-fall. Proactive planning as much as possible - as we have learned from earlier this year - rather than reactively could save a lot of us from burning out.
Tammy Musiowsky-Borneman writes these posts. She writes about organizing aspects of teaching, student engagement, and other tidbits about teaching, learning, and leading. Keep an eye for posts by guest authors!