Saturday, October 24, 2020

juggling the balls


be gentle with our selves

I send out an e mail to the wrong group

in a hope to help them remember the schedule

and get to class via Zoom,

all this while I work to get the students on the screen

managing an assignment I need, 

one where they can sum up what they’ve learned

and how they feel about the process,

when tardy students check in,

I actually thank them for reminding me

that all of us can make mistakes, 

for helping me feel not so bad about my own e mail mistake,

I seek to express that they, and I, are but human,

in a world that seems to challenge us to be superhuman,

first juggling at all, then tossed ball after ball

and expected to keep them all in the air at the same time,

through my long nights I fear the balls I might drop,

the times I might not be there for my students,

the imposter in me watches my colleagues,

intimidated by every technological hoop

each seems to master with ease,

 I search through the juggled and dropped balls

and look to see the individual young person

whose worth is infinite, whose effort is extraordinary,

and who just can’t quite keep all the balls in the air,

I work to just support them and their effort,

I caution myself, my colleagues, and my students,

to be gentle with our selves, 

and appreciate how well we are doing, 

despite how much we fear that we should be doing even more.

by Henry H. Walker

October 22, ‘20


Suzanne said...

A good reminder to all of us to be gentle. In this case, as parents, we only see such thoughtful and caring teaching of our students. Ian tells me multiple times a week how much fun school is and how he loves having teachers that want to make learning interesting! Thank you for all your effort to make it seem just right for our students.

demboom said...

I hope you'll keep remembering to extend the same grace to yourself that you extend to others. A common theme I keep hearing - surprisingly few of the plates and balls we've all struggled so hard to keep aloft really need to be in motion all the time. I know I echo many others who feel the teachers are working tirelessly and hope that you aren't unduly pressuring yourselves to be anything other than safe and present for yourselves and students in the ways that work best for you. These feelings are increasing as we're hearing about staff illnesses - whether COVID or not. We've all remained relatively bug-free these many months. Keep healthy, Henry, and don't take any unnecessary risks. The kids and the lessons will always be there and we're all benefiting in ways we have yet to realize from the new perspectives and skills we've endured, and enjoyed, and created, and imagined. We have yet to meet you in person - we look forward to getting to hang out and get to know one another. Be well, new friend.