School has either just begun or is about to for many of you, and let's be real: you're probably already stressed and tired. Most likely you've been preparing all summer for multiple learning scenarios, and you don't really know what to expect or how you'll address any number of situations. And on top of that, nothing helps ease your worries about your students' well-being or your own, and for the most part, you're just trying to make it from one hour to the next. This may not describe you, but if it does, hopefully by now you realize you're not the only one feeling increased levels of anxiety. I'm not even in the classroom, and I can barely make it through a day without feeling completely overwhelmed.
I write this to remind you that we are all struggling with something, and now more than ever, we need to take a moment to encourage one another, to lend an ear for listening or to be a (socially distanced) shoulder for crying on. While some continue working remotely, there are times teams meet face to face, and even those moments can feel isolating when everyone is wearing a mask, so compassion should be at the forefront of every word we speak and action we take.
I usually try to share helpful communications-related information in these monthly posts, but instead of giving you yet another list of more resources to sift through, I wanted to take a moment to extend our heartfelt appreciation and tell you that what you are doing for Oklahoma's children in the face of COVID does not go unnoticed. This virus has completely upended so much of our daily routines, including the way teachers teach and the way students learn. But as is always the case, you, our educators, have stepped up because you know children need you.
Some of you are putting your own health at risk by being in the classroom. Some of you are taking on the challenge of new technologies for remote learning. Some of you are school leaders forced to make the toughest decisions that are then questioned and criticized. Some of you may also have mental health struggles you're facing. Whatever your situation may be, remember to be gentle with yourself. You cannot expect to perform at 100% capacity right now, so give yourself the same flexibility you would one of your students or a family member or a friend. Of course, that's easier said than done, especially for those Type-A personalities out there! But it's so important, especially since we have no idea just how long this pandemic will last.
Every day, try to take time to do something you enjoy--something that makes you happy, even if it's just for 5 minutes. Because that 5 minutes of relaxation gets you away from the stresses of the world, which can be so harmful to our minds and our bodies. But if you find yourself reaching that breaking point, please call on any member of the OPSRC team. If it's something school-related, we'll do our best to provide solutions. If it's just to get an opinion on something, you know we've got 'em! We were here before COVID, we'll be here after, but most importantly, we're here right now to be your support. Hop on over to our team's bio page to find all our contact info, and hit us up. This time we are living in is not easy, so in whatever way you need assistance, please let us know. We might not have the answers, but we can always point you in the right direction.
So take care of yourselves, be kind to one another and know we have strong shoulders.
I’m not sure about you, but every Friday afternoon I pack my work bag with tasks to do over the weekend, and every Monday morning I unpack the bag basically looking the same.
Keep your parents informed when a situation arises in your district.
Did all the invitations go to the correct folks? Sometimes this is a hard question to answer and not just in our personal lives but also professionally.