Day 26 of a 30-Day Writing Challenge

Today’s post represents taking a break from the usual topics to reflect on this process.

Photo by Keegan Houser from Pexels

I thought about post ideas for half an hour before deciding to write a reflection post. This post isn’t an admission of defeat, although it seemed like it when I started writing it. Instead, it’s a recognition of our interdependence, for the posts often reveal connections to issues important to more than myself.

For Example, Mental Health

Not only did I write many posts about education, but I also took a risk and wrote about mental health challenges in a personal way. So many of us face similar challenges, which breaks my heart.

Several times, what I wrote in my journal ended up in a post, because I have committed to living a better life of service to others. Writing is one way to be of service. By writing and publishing, I hope to help others.

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None of them were easy to write, because my inner negative self-talk would get in the way. These bits of wisdom (note the sarcasm) should be familiar. My new responses are in parentheses.

  • You know, no one cares what you think. (Someone might, therefore I write.)
  • Stop looking for pity. (I’m not. I hope to help others.)
  • So, you’re announcing to the world that you are “damaged goods”? Is that a good idea? (I know where the notion of “damaged goods” came from, and I reject the notion utterly, so stop.)

Pushing back against these bits of wisdom, questioning their purpose and validity, has helped me continue.

And Fears about Returning to School

The FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine a few days ago, which is great, but there are many people 12 years old and older returning to school unvaccinated. The Delta variant is running rampant, and people are unprotected. Thousands of school children and hundreds of staff have already gone into quarantine.

Meanwhile, the debate about masks is absurd. Parents and community members attend board meetings during which they hurl insults at administrators and board members. Here is one story about this problem from my own state, Pennsylvania.

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There are many more. Attendees have become violent. They have been expelled from board meetings because of foul language and threats to administrators and board members. Like I said, it’s absurd.

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Other issues concerning school reopening center on this notion of learning “gaps.” I’m worried, because I envision even more pressure on students already reeling from the school year from hell.

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We need to redefine education — its purpose and how we should educate our children. I fear everyone wants to return to “normal.” We shouldn’t. Instead, let’s blaze a new path.

We need to assess our understanding of learning. We need to redesign methods by which students demonstrate their learning. The old methods haven’t worked for a long time. Now is the perfect time to try something new.

These Posts Have a Common Theme: Rebirth

Emerging from the pandemic will be difficult. We should consider this moment one of rebirth, using the lessons learned to make real, sustainable progress.

Over the past 25 days, I have been reimagining my practice and life. I want to emerge from this pandemic fired up for teaching and life, with new confidence. I want to be of service to others.

So yes, I have real concerns. I also have hope. I thank you for coming on the journey with me.

Thank you for reading this, my twenty-sixth post in my 30-Day Writing Challenge.

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