Patience is a virtue.

Definition: The ability to wait for something without frustration is a useful skill and a good aspect of one’s personality. My open letter to teachers everywhere.

Dear Teacher Colleagues everywhere- I just wanted to make one point (maybe a couple I don’t know I never draft these I just write off the top of my head) and it may not be a popular one. I have shared my thoughts on education in Facebook groups, Twitter, etc. more since July than I ever have before. I stand by my belief that remote instruction was and is the way to go right now. I have signed petition after petition, sent email after email, often to schools I have no connection with to try and help and assist with with what I thought was right way to educate students until it’s safe because I feel so strongly about.

With that being said, please be patient with your building administrative teams. Obviously you should be patient with students, parents, and others but I figure that goes without saying.

What I mean is, and I can’t speak for all teachers everywhere, is that my building administrators (vice principals, principals, guidance, HR, etc.,) have been working as tirelessly as teachers have this summer with so many things constantly changing.

So please be patient (easier said than done) and don’t fly off the rails right away. But also don’t set yourself up for failure. Make sure you understand what your expectations are as teacher and ask questions if you don’t know something because we all know what happens when you assume.

When technology doesn’t work the way you expect PLEASE don’t just quit. Please don’t right away fire off an email to your tech department. Use the “ask three” method when possible…

  1. Ask Google (they know a lot).
  2. Ask a colleague (they know a lot too).
  3. Ask a supervisor/building admin

Then submit your tech request because they will be getting technology into students/staff hands sometimes traveling to do so, working on network issues, and laundry list of other issues that always arise during openings as well as brand new ones to make sure things are and continue to work no matter what type of school opening you have. I say this as someone honestly as someone who in the past has both been a teacher and technology staff developer, most issues will be solved (and solved much quicker) before you even get past step 3.

I guess I have gone way past one point because As I type this I keep thinking about more. So overall, please please please be patient.

I know most schools are starting within days if they have not started already, but as prepared as we are, the beginning will be bumpy, as every year often is, no matter what model your school has adopted. I already replied to an email from my principal twice this AM which is what prompted this message because I know my school administrative team must have an overflowing inbox from angry (and hopefully happy) parents, teachers, employees, scheduling concerns, student concerns, etc., etc., etc.

The spotlight will be bright on educators everywhere.

Parents, admins, and the general public will be paying more attention to every detail than ever before. So please act professionally as I know most of you do. Don’t post on social media during your contractual teaching times as I know that sounds like a silly reminder but I am definitely guilty of doing this in the spring when our time was a lot less “structured”.

Remember there were and will be protests from teachers and parenrs about how schools are handling reopening and lots of people were left, and still are, angry, nervous, anxious, and scared. Hell I’m more nervous and anxious to start the school year than I ever have been before. And (I think) that’s okay.

I even invested ($9.00) in The Pursuit of Capyness: A Zen Capybara Coloring Book to take my mind off of things when I get overwhelmed and need a break from screens. ☺️

There is so much raw emotion and passion from all sides involved right now so be patient and do your best. We have to work together with all stakeholders and if we do we will kick this school year’s ass!

If you made it this far in my rambling thank you and have a great year. ✌️❤️

-James

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"Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming." -John Wooden

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