It’s that time of year where many schools are either already back in action or just gearing up for the new school year. We may not be able to be a part of the big decisions being made about what the return to school looks like but we can control our reactions to them. A Social Gal’s Top 5: Back to School Mindsets aims to help you, your student, and those in education start the year off with that much-needed positivity that we all could use more of right now.
Let’s take a look at some ways we can embrace this challenging and different yet equally important school year.
Fun fact you may or may not know, this is written from the perspective of an excited and nervous teacher. Yes, me! And trust me, I need these mindsets every bit as much as everyone else (if not even more).
1. Give Grace
Tis’ the season of grace. Embracing this new school year by granting everyone a whole lot of grace is vital. This new school year whether it is virtual, in-person, at home, or at school is different for everyone. Give yourself grace when you make mistakes because you will make mistakes. Grant that same grace to your student’s teachers as they navigate something they have never done. Also, give your student a lot of that same grace as they endure a school year like none other and are most likely feeling the effects of greatly. Grace can help get you through this challenging start of the year if you only embrace it.
2. Patience and Flexibility
Along with grace comes patience on A Social’s Top 5: Back to School Mindsets. You are going to need patience. Patience with your student, patience with yourself, and patience with all those in education that continue to make impossible decisions. You may not like nor agree with every decision but that does not mean you can’t have patience. Patience that it will work out. And patience with all those around you that are also trying to figure this back to school thing out too.
Another important mindset to adopt this school year is hope. We can’t lose hope that our “new normal” may bring us some positive changes. None of us can predict the future and who knows, this school year could bring abound a positive change that we never saw coming. Additionally, it is important that we don’t let our students lose hope. We must continue to encourage, guide, and strengthen their love (hopefully) for school regardless of what it looks like or whether it is behind a screen or a mask.
4. The Village Mindset
There is a phrase in education we use quite a lot and that is, “It takes a village” which could not be more true right now. I know you are tired of hearing “we are all in this together” and so am I but truthfully, we all are. It is going to take a mass amount of teamwork at the education level to pull off this new school year. It may take your family adjusting to a new normal that you didn’t think possible. And it may involve adding in additional help from family members, friends, your community, and beyond. This is your village. Rely on them, support them, ask for help from them. The best way to get through challenges is with each other because we are stronger together even as cliche as it sounds.
5. Letting Go of Control
Finally, on this A Social Gal’s Top 5: Back to School Mindsets is letting go of the control. This has been a big one for me at the start of my 11th year which feels like my first year of teaching. There are so many things beyond my and your control. It is time to let those things go. We need to continue to do our best but worrying incessantly about things we cannot control does nothing to help us get through it. So I challenge you to practice the mindset of letting go. If you can’t control it, don’t try to. Let it go and save your sanity at the same time.
I wish you and your students (your own personal or the ones in your classroom for my fellow teachers), the best school year you can possibly have. Yes, it will look and feel different. There will be more challenges than you thought possible. But there will also be new triumphs, successes, lessons learned and so much to be grateful for. Embrace the positivity as much as you possibly can. We will get through this.