It’s too overwhelming


“The magnitude of all of this change… it’s too overwhelming.”

Fair enough. I, too, often feel overwhelmed by it all. But are we going to hunker down and ignore it or lean into it and try to figure out how to adapt? Which one better serves the needs of our children?

Image credit: Day 49 – I can’t do it anymore, Alisa Ryan

2 Responses to “It’s too overwhelming”

  1. Since becoming a teacher four years ago, it seems I’ve seen nothing but change. Some say that’s the only constant in education. Change is good. Change keeps us sharp. And often, change is needed. But sometimes it seems we change things just because it’s the latest thing educators are doing, so we should get with the times. I feel that I’m pushed to limit to implement new technology. We are racing so far forward into the latest and greatest gizmos that our heads spin. As a teacher, I must stay current. But being a child of the 80’s, sometimes learning the tech stuff doesn’t come to me as easy as the younger, faster teachers. Having students ready for the 21st century job markets means that all teachers need to be using new technology, even the older ones. I’m all for that! I just think once in awhile we need to hit the pause button and enjoy the moment.

    I heard a teacher once say that we shouldn’t even teach handwriting because soon it will be out dated. I give my students assignments to hand write. There is something nice about the written word! Maybe it’s the intimacy of the stroke of the hand and the formation of the letters to create the long awaited words and sentences. Pounding on a keyboard doesn’t quite do that for me. Handwriting helps to slow down to really think of the words I’m writing. And I’m much more creative that way.

    One day while feeling overwhelmed with lesson planning, I decided to take my students outside to sit in the front lawn of the school. All the work would stay in the classroom. As I led them out, I began to doubt my choice and started thinking the whole thing was a huge mistake. I thought for sure students would get bored and I would win the “worst teacher” award. Much to my surprise, they loved it! The feel of the grass, the conversation, the ease of the day. It was all very nice. Some of the best discussions I had with my students was on that lawn. After returning to the classroom, the students got right to work with their assignments. No demanding, no prompting, they were ready to go back to learning. It was as if they were refreshed and rejuvenated by the experience.

    These days move so fast, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed in the push to succeed. We need to expose students to the technology of this digital age, we need to plan lessons that implement the curriculum that will get them college and career ready by the 21st century standards. But we must also stop and breathe a little!

  2. Adapting is a problem for many because it really means learning. To adapt to something is a new way of doing things, a new set of rules, policies, and procedures. Unfortunately the gap between the new information resides with the new teachers. “The veterans and holders of all the wisdom”, he said sarcastically, “are holding on to a set of rules that don’t fully apply.”

    In education as in every field their is always a great deal to learn from those that came before you. However if you notice that they have stopped learning and are only recycling, drink from the cup they gave you (positive and negative, you can learn from both), thank them and run to the new water fountain that quenches the thirst of many.

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