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You have been amazing during this very unusual teaching moment. Your websites, Canvas classes, blogs, Zoom meetings, parades, lawn posters, and all the incredible technology you have used to instruct and stay connected to your students has been a monumental effort. We applaud you for finishing strong and caring so much about student success. 

Have a safe, restful summer!

With Gratitude: your JSD Mentor Teacher Specialists

“When you know yourself well--when you understand your emotions, social identities, core values, and personality--you gain clarity on your purpose in life and in work. Being anchored in purpose makes you able to deal with setbacks and challenges.”

-Elena Aguilar, Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators

As we finish the school year and move into summer, take time to ground yourself in who you are--your values, your purpose in teaching. Try some of these reflective activities:

by Joshua Block

“Teaching would not be possible without time devoted to reflection and rejuvenation. In the same way that crops need to be rotated so that soil can be replenished, teachers need time away from the classroom to rediscover different parts of their identities and return to classrooms and students with renewed joy, creative ideas, and reaffirmed visions of themselves as educators.  Summer is a time for reflection, scholarship, and a chance to give myself a break from the daily cycle of planning and feedback that make the school year such a whirlwind.”

What are your plans for rejuvenation this summer?

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
~Albert Einstein

Remote teaching has been a new learning curve for all of us! Students and teachers have gained helpful, new knowledge from their perseverance in these interesting times.

Visit the link below for more ideas on fostering perseverance.

from Elena Aguilar

“The summer is the perfect time to plan. Even three days of work can yield months of results. Once you start, you'll get into it, and you'll thank yourself next year.”  

This article gives ideas on how to plan, when to plan, and what to plan so your time is fun and productive and invigorating.  We need to keep in mind preparing for digital or classroom experiences.

Many of you have been collaborating with grade or team members. It has strengthened your ability to teach on-line and you have shared lesson responsibilities to lighten the load.

Instructional coach and TechEd editor Lauren Davis says, “The beauty of collaboration is not only the ability to tap into various perspectives and ideas, but also to share responsibility for our students’ learning. The more people invested in a student’s education, the better the chance that student has to be successful.”

During this interesting teaching moment in history, continue to reach out to your colleagues, support each other and keep up your excellent effort.

If you would like to read more about the positive effects of teacher collaboration on students success read:

As we prepare for the future and returning to school, here is some great advice from Sean Slade, Senior Director of Global Outreach at ASCD: 

“We may not have control over the syllabus. We may not have control over the revisional work to be caught up. We have no control over what has taken place across our schools, our communities, our country and our world…

...but we do have some control over the climate, culture, and sense of community and belonging we develop in our classrooms and across our schools. We have a choice in how we respond and support our students, our colleagues, and our families.

So until our new normal becomes normal, let's just focus on controlling what we can.” 

Shared in ASCD and CDC Webinar
Leading Schools During the Coronavirus Crisis: Medium-Term Steps
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

As we contemplate the effects of losing 10 weeks or so of school, John Hattie reminds us that “It is not the time in class, but what we do in the time we have, that matters”.  In a current post, Visible Learning Effect Sizes When Schools Are Closed: What Matters and What Does Not, Hattie notes:

  • Do not panic
  • Worry more about subjects in which parents have the least skill
  • Engage students in optimal tasks designed to find out where students are and where they need to go in their learning 
  • Create many opportunities for social interaction
  • Listen to feedback from students about their learning

View the full post to learn more about, “What Matters and What Does Not.”

As we anticipate the future of our students, we need to keep in mind the emotional needs of students.

Kathleen Minke, the executive director of the National Association of School Psychologists, made this observation: 

“School psychologists know that academic efforts cannot proceed without addressing psychological and emotional trauma. Learning will not occur unless the emotional needs of both students and adults are addressed. Indeed, pretending that everything is 'normal' will likely exacerbate underlying traumas and further delay genuine recovery.”

She recommends these ideas:

  1. Recovery plan
  2. Assess, don’t assume
  3. Develop a resource plan
  4. Use Professional Development

Emotional trauma