By Dr. Will Henson
Many educators conducting distance learning are frustrated by situations that are out of their control. Sometimes students don’t show up for class, or fail to turn in work. Some even completely disappear. It feels like kids are struggling. I know educators are worrying about all of their students, and especially the ones who seem to be falling behind. The avenues to help them feel limited and inadequate. Right now, it might feel like what is expected of educators is overwhelming. We are all doing a lot, and we may even get less positive feedback and support than usual. We don’t have easy access to our colleagues and supervisors, and we haven’t even met some of our students in person! So how do we navigate these uncertain times?
The answer is that we must focus on the quality of our decisions, not our outcomes. We can’t always control who shows up, but the right thing to do is keep calling, keep reaching out, and never give up. We can’t control that we are still online with no end in sight in many parts of the country, but we can show up every day and give it our all. We can’t control that we have not met students and co-workers, but we can continue to make time and find small ways to pay attention to them and make them feel important.
In short, we have to operate sometimes on faith – doing the right thing as best we can, even when we don’t always know or see the result.