Finding strength in times of weakness

May 22, 2020

In addition to taking comfort in unity, the time at home has given educators the opportunity to make time to assist themselves, something they’re not always able to do as they are looking after others.

“I’ve developed a new appreciation for active self-care,” Hollowell said. “In uncertain times, it’s difficult to feel I have any agency over what’s going on around me, so it has become crucial to exercise control over what is within my power. I’m re-learning an instrument, I’m cooking and I’ve stopped drinking caffeine. It might not seem terribly significant, but even small personal improvements help me feel like I have more jurisdiction over our otherwise untethered circumstances.”

I hope they’re kind to themselves and remember that, even if it’s not as obvious behind a screen, people care about them, a whole campus full.”

— English 3 teacher Blake Hollowell

By making time for personal care and investing time in activities unrelated to school, teachers find they can better serve their students and co-workers and find a normalcy in the irregularity of life at the moment.

“I’ve always believed if I’m not well, I cannot serve my students well,” Diaz said. “That holds no matter the position or the situation. Luckily, I have an extremely supportive family that understands my role and will do anything to support my students through me. Perhaps [it’s] selfish, but I have leaned on them to find strength and motivation to keep my spirits up throughout the crisis.”

Though it is unclear what this pandemic means for the future of public schools, teachers hope students don’t lose sight of their aspirations. As the school year comes to a close, teachers long for students to view education as a powerful tool that will help them recover from life’s hardships. Above all, they wish to remind students that even from afar, they have a support system.

“I hope this moment is one which students will look back on as evidence of just how much they can handle,” Hollowell said. “I hope school administrators will choose to be inspired by the effort most students continue to pour out, despite increased work hours and record global anxiety. I hope students use this time to actively work in pursuit of goals they deem important. I hope they’re kind to themselves and remember that, even if it’s not as obvious behind a screen, people care about them, a whole campus full.”

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