If you have never worked in schools, you may not know about the restorative necessity of the holiday break. Teachers pour all of their all into kids, getting relationships and learning in place and growing. And it’s work. And then there’s ‘these days’.
They’ve not only, as usual, earned this time to rest, connect with family and loved ones, but this time is important so they can continue, with renewed energy and focus, when the new year begins.
Been having lots and lots of conversations about kids and schools lately. Turns out that kids being away from in-person school for 18 months has repercussions. Behaviors that schools haven’t seen before….they’re seeing. Not most kids, not the majority of kids, but enough to make school a different place.
So what to do? Here’s one thing. Gather up a group of kids and talk with them. Make clear expectations. Remind them that they are loved. And that they are loved enough to be held to reasonable expectations.
This picture is of two of our building leaders having that conversation with kids. A principal and a teacher. Mark Robinson and Andy Michel. I happened to be in the building at the time, and sat in the back and listened. The message was delivered and heard. You could have heard a pin drop. When gifted educators talk with passion, share compassion, and show their hearts, kids listen.
I checked in with the teacher a couple days after the meeting. Notice any improvement? His direct answer, “Attitudes improved overall. Students spent an entire period brainstorming solutions in small groups.”
Step by step, we’ll rebuild school culture and climate. Conversation by conversation. Kid by kid.
One of my favorite things about learning via Twitter is the seemingly simple ideas that show up every day. The quote above illustrates a beauty. As we continue to work with kids coming through the pandemic, the ideas that help kids are the ones into which we lean. This idea can be implemented today, yesterday, tomorrow, or next week.
And it can be implemented with grown ups too. Imagine asking teachers to write down the words they need to hear on tough days, collecting them, then returning them as needed. Bam!