What a first month. I can say that when I entered into school administration that I did not ever think that we’d be the place where we are right now. I continue to work to believe that somewhere in this we’ll be able to make lemonade out of the lemons we’ve been handed. This HUGE lemon – the pandemic – has rocked the world of all of us in education.
Things are changing in our lives and we’ve all been asked repeatedly to help one another by doing our part to slow the spread of the virus. The ask for schools has been extraordinary. My heart cries for our kids – I think about how, in comparison, my own time in school and all the time in-between for most was a cake walk in comparison. However, taking the lemon expression “When life gives us lemons….we make lemonade,” must be our mantra as we lead our schools through this time. What does that really mean, you ask? This expression means to me an encouragement of optimism and a positive can-do attitude, while in the face of the many adversities before us. We are getting better at some things – our teachers are gaining skills in different forms of instruction that they may have not had before. Our students are being forced to be stronger and more resilient. We complained sometimes about the lack of grit in this generation – well they are getting a military bootcamp version of training in grit right now.
Working together I’m of the mindset that we are going to pull of the incredible this year. As people come to our districts, I’m confident they will see any number of ways that we are encouraging optimism, positivity, commitment, and hopefulness. Our students and staff all over the state will be learning together and will hopefully be doing so with joy in their hearts.
I’m certain we will have teachers, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, cooks, maintenance workers, janitors, board members, and administrators working to implement safety protocols in an effort to make a positive difference in the life of every child in which she or he meets.
Here’s what makes our statewide NDCEL team strong. We will continue to look out for and take care of one another as we progress through the many phases of this challenging global pandemic. We will be sharing all year the eyewitness accounts of students and teachers, in their new learning environments finding ways to achieve intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically. We will view the use of technology like never before and we will forever be stronger for that. We will still see children laughing, playing, and learning with one another and it will still warm your heart.
So as more lemons get thrown at you – I encourage you to:
- 1)Juggle them. If you don’t know how to juggle get more help and just pass the lemons back and forth so you aren’t alone with all of the them.
- 2)Recognize that lemonade is the most inexpensive way to turn the lemons into something tasty and this positivism could positively impact your school culture for a time long past the pandemic. I’m sending you all the positive thoughts and feelings I can muster and am hoping that you know that NDCEL is always here for you. In fact, we’re happy to provide you with the sugar!