What’s Going to Work?

Remember the Wonder Pets? It was a TV show on Nick Jr that featured an adorable trio of heroes—a chick, a hamster, and a turtle. In each episode, they would combine their unique skill sets and rescue a poor, stranded animal. My kids loved this show when they were little. As a mom, I loved that they loved it. They were entertained, but they also learned some really powerful life lessons. These lessons were useful at the time, but I keep thinking that this is the only lesson that will save us.

Throughout this pandemic, teachers have been forced to make some major shifts in their thinking and practice. Moving from in-person teaching to virtual teaching was tough enough—now many teachers are teaching in-person again, but with many layers of COVID precautions. There are additional duties on top of teaching—from sanitizing to monitoring students’ health, to supervising them during lunchtimes and recess. With the additional time needed for cleaning and transitions, instructional time gets chipped away. And because the last school year ended the way it did, kids need more instruction than usual. To top it off, some school districts have adopted a dual in-person and virtual model, which requires teachers to teach in-person and online at the same time!

These are tough conditions, but teachers are nothing if not resilient. Teachers are succeeding because they’re putting a timeless truth into action.

You can’t do it alone.

This has always been true in teaching, but before this year, teachers could kind of get away with not working with a team. Teachers could shut their doors, hide in their classrooms, stay away from the teachers’ lounge, or stay silent during PLC. Not anymore.

There is just too much.

  • Too much uncertainty about what the next week, month, or quarter will bring.
  • Too much fear of getting sick or a loved one getting sick.
  • Too much denialism.
  • Too much divisiveness.
  • Too many changes to the rules.
  • Too many details to memorize with new protocols and procedures.
  • Too many emails rolling through our inboxes.
  • Too many people who have lost loved ones.
  • Too much, too much, TOO MUCH.

We simply have to rely on one another to get through these tough times. There are just no two ways about it.

What is there to be done? Sometimes the only thing we can do is turn to our teams. If anything is going to work in these times of “Too Much,” it is teamwork.

 

Randi Fielding

My education career started in 2006 when I began volunteering in my children’s elementary school. During the time my kids were little, I attended college part-time, taught Art Masterpiece, and volunteered in their classrooms. I fell in love with education and knew I wanted to become a classroom teacher. I eventually graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree from Arizona State University and became a first-generation college graduate. I began teaching in 2013 and have worked in special and general education, in elementary schools and high school. I’ve taught everything from reading and math to English, social studies, and strategies. I became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2017. Knowing that my impact could be greater than a single classroom, I returned to ASU for my Master’s Degree in Education Leadership and graduated in 2018. I’m now an administrator in a rural school district and use every bit of my background to connect with kids, teachers, and families.
A theme throughout my life has been “Always Improving.” In addition to full-time work as an administrator, I support teacher growth in my school district by leading professional development and serving on district committees, teaching Pre-Candidacy courses and coaching National Board candidates. I’m also a member of the Arizona K12 Center’s Teacher Solutions Team and blog for Stories From School Arizona. Additionally, I’ve presented professional development at the state and national level at the annual AZCEC/AZCASE Conference and at the National Co-Teach Conference.
When I’m not working, writing, or reading, I enjoy bicycling with my husband, hanging out with my kids, bullet journaling, and roller skating.

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