Some Things Never Change

Food Volunteers
Educators from Chata Ima Elementary and Woodlake Elementary volunteer to distribute food for St. Tammany Parish’s “Grab and Go” meals.

While my last blog was centered around a song from Frozen 2, my mind kept coming back to another song from the Disney hit, “Some Things Never Change”. In the movie, the characters are singing about how things do not change as little changes kept occurring all around. The song is a foreshadowing of the changes that were later to come in the movie. As we are now in the midst of a pandemic, change is all around us. The constants of the rhythm of school day and school year have disappeared for teachers and students. While we are all coping with the changes, I have turned my mind to focusing on the things that have not changed. Here is my list:

Relationships with Students Matter: This is a constant message that I am hearing between conversations with fellow educators and observing social media posts. Educators are continuing to put personal relationships with students first. From checking in on the well-being of students through Zoom, texts, google hangouts, phone calls, and hand-written letters to driving through neighborhoods of students with signs, teachers are focused on supporting their relationships with students while sharing the messages “We miss you” and “We are here for you”.
We’re a Team: Teachers, students, and parents are a team. Working together, we are ensuring that each student has what he/she needs in order to succeed. The important aspect is that we are keeping the lines of communication open even as we are practicing social distancing.
Teachers are Learners: Everywhere I look there are examples of teachers learning new skills. From learning to utilize technology available to participating in online book clubs, teachers are focused on grasping this opportunity to grow. Next on my list of skills to learn is Screencastify. Thanks to Spencer Kiper, 2019 Louisiana Teacher of the Year, for offering to help! Which brings me to my next point…
Teachers Help Other Teachers: Wow! The support from other educators has been overwhelming. Facebook groups, instructional videos, blogs, e-mails, phone calls, and texts are just a few of the ways teachers are sharing what they know with other educators. It’s beautiful. It’s inspiring. There is nothing we can’t accomplish because we are all in this together.
Teachers are Persistent: Just two weeks ago, I and my fellow educators could not envision how we would address students’ needs with online learning. However, we’re persistent. We’re determined. We won’t let the closing of schools mean the end of learning. All around, you can see examples of creativity, innovative thinking, and the relentless determination to overcome this challenge. This is the same persistence that teachers bring to supporting their students in the classroom day in and day out.

YouTube Lesson Pic
Filming a music lesson in my living room

Teachers Support the Community: From donating much needed cleaning materials and medical equipment to distributing food to students, teachers are finding ways that they can support those in need. Where does this drive to volunteer spring from? It comes from knowing that every action benefits the ones they love the most, their students.

 
While these are just a few of the things that I have noticed that have not changed, I know that there are many more. As the song says, “Some things never change, and I’m holding on tight to you.” America, teachers are holding on tight for you!

NStoy Zoom Pic
My 2016 National Teacher of the Year cohort connecting and sharing through Zoom.

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