#TeacherThoughts by Rebecca Brinkman, 3rd grade teacher - Phoenix, AZ
Hello everyone, from the comfort of my couch! As I sit here on the computer, eating my social distancing snacks on this spring day, I wanted to share some things to inspire educators around the world.
As teachers, we are feeling a range of emotions at this time; it can change day by day. Our profession thrives on routine, mixed with a bit of chaos, but this situation keeps us from why we joined the profession in the first place:
Their passion. Smiles. Moments of bonding. Hugging them at the end of the day. Learning experiences. “Aha” moments. Anonymous letters on our desks when we need them most. Snacks given to us with love. Laughing at memes with your team. Overcoming challenges with a student. Sharing stories with teacher friends. That first cup of coffee before going into a hard day. Getting visits from ones that you used to teach.
There are millions of reasons why we love our students. That is why this is so hard. Every teacher has a story, a reason WHY for being on their campus each day. Our hearts hurt just as much as the students with each day this continues.
What we are experiencing right now is history; we are ALL going through it together, and while this may be a tough time, there can always be a silver lining to any situation.
Fortunately, we live in a world where technology is the norm in many communities. This is 2020 and we have the ability to connect to students, families and colleagues in more ways than one.
For instance, last week I was able to join my Classroom Champions teacher family for a “Fireside Chat”.
I am a fourth year Classroom Champions teacher and love exposing my students to mentor athletes that inspire them to be their best selves. Our students engage in lessons that are related to specific topics, such as goal setting, perseverance and diversity. These lessons are designed to help students realize their potential in the world and develop important skills to succeed in their endeavours. Right now, students, mentors and teachers are all missing this family at the moment. During this fireside chat, I had the opportunity to catch up with other members of this family and talk about celebrations, concerns and needs at the time.
What I loved was how the meeting encompassed what a family means: connection, sharing, compassion, laughter and bonding. I never feel like a stranger in this group.
And that’s what I want for all teachers during this time! So whether it’s joining Classroom Champions Fireside Chat here or just participating in a Twitter chat —
1. Facebook: Does your school have a Facebook page? If so, collaborate with staff to create daily updates, challenges or learning resources for the community.
2. Twitter: This is a great way to connect other teachers! This platform allows teachers to answer questions with others to generate conversation and team build. I love being a part of Classroom Champions chat on Tuesdays at 5:30PT/8:30 ET. The Classroom Champions Twitter page also gives links to resources for educators and their student families.
3. Instagram: Does your school have an Instagram page? If so, you can collaborate with staff to create videos for specific students and grade levels to build a connection. This allows users to use fun filters, send messages and send quick updates for others to see.
4. YouTube: If you LOVE to read out loud to your students, you can create your own YouTube channel! On this channel (with permission from administration) you can post videos that are kid friendly where you read their favorite stories aloud. This gives students the comfort of seeing you and maintaining a connection.
Or join Classroom Champions LIVE on youtube and facebook every day at 9am PT / Noon ET to see inspiring mentors like our mentor and Paralympic skier Dan Cnossen teach your kids exercises, cooking, arts, reading and more. Remind your kids (and their parents) to comment and you’ll be able to message them too!
Visit classroomchampions.org for more chats, activities, videos…. And share your ideas with me in the comments.