COVID-19 Teaching Diary Day 8: A Day for Self Care

I'm generally skeptical of the self care trend. It feels like a way to make us feel personally responsible for the ways that capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy and other ideologies make us feel shitty. But, as long as we're willing to acknowledge the ultimate source of a lot of our anxiety and exhaustion, I'm on board. Today was a day where I appreciated my self care strategies.

The day started with a text from a teacher friend. It was this meme:
The day after I found out Spring Break is canceled, it was just the message I needed. I expect the weeks ahead will be challenging. I know there will be days I struggle to remember this. But today, I embraced the idea that my best is enough.

Today I did not stress about the webinars I could be joining to hone my remote teaching craft. I didn't worry about the rockstar teachers on Twitter who seem to have all this figured out (or at the very least seem so enthusiastic about getting there). I didn't despair about the 20-something kids who didn't show up for our virtual morning meeting. I celebrated the fact that eight kids did.

I was proud of their perseverance. I was proud of my own. I was happy to see their faces. I hope they were happy to see mine.

As we have each morning, we started our morning my checking in using the mood meter (a tool from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence). Then we recited our school POWER Pledge (a list of affirmations aligned to our school's core values). We discussed the core value for April, Wisdom, and ways to show it at home. And we ended the meeting with a silly poem from Shel Silverstein.

Our morning meetings have been a highlight of my days. And today I tried to especially hard to savor the time spent with kids being kids in the midst of a surreal and scary time.

Later I helped a student navigate Google classroom. I had four small math lessons over Google Hangouts. I spoke to another mom and we had a good conversation.

I took a long walk and tried to soak up some sunshine.

Today I had a few kids connect over Google Hangouts for the first time in a while or ever. Tomorrow I'll try to help a few more join. I'll continue to practice patience with myself. It's never been my strength as a teacher, but I know it's one of the most important forms of self care I have.


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