This pandemic is battle of endurance – for mind as well as body.
There is nothing that is certain…except for uncertainty.
For many of us that includes what work, education, or free time will look like.
As dreadful as all that seems, I do know that some members of this community are at there best in uncertain and constantly changing times – and that is a good thing!
This article from Harvard Business Review put it’s finger on the overwhelmed feeling some of business leaders are feeling at this continually changing dynamic:
“…leaders we work with often report feeling stuck, ill-equipped, or overwhelmed as they face the growing challenges of their roles.”
The Business Review simplifies down to 6 recommendations:
1. Embrace the Discomfort of Not Knowing
2. Distinguish Between Complicated and Complex
3. Let Go of Perfectionism
4. Resist Over-Simplifications and Quick Conclusions
5. Don’t Go It Alone
6. Zoom Out or Focus on the Big Picture.
It seems that all of those points can apply no matter what level of uncertainty we are dealing with.
What I would add is that periods of uncertainty can also lead to new insights and opportunities for solutions.
If you still have family members who are working their way through the educational system, some external pressures of timing (like keeping up with peers, the sheer quantity of homework and studying for tests) may be softened.
Dyslexic students may have difficulty hearing sounds when their teachers and even fellow students are wearing masks, so if you haven’t jumped in to help your student 1:1, this is a great time to help.
If you are a parent, develop a regular routine of listening to your child read.
If reading is very effortful, develop a practice of overviewing a new book first and reading the first few pages or chapter which helps the students recognize the setting and characters for the story. Sometimes you may want to read the descriptive parts of the story (usually more difficult to read), allowing your student to follow along looking over your shoulder, while they read the dialogue or sound effects which tends to be easier.
If you are taking a more active role in building your student’s fluency, then consider doing echo reading or repeated reading (having the student improve reading fluency by reading the same passage aloud 4 times).
In the example at below, the teacher is timing the student, but if this creates anxiety at home and the passage is short, don’t time.
As this pandemic wears on-an-on, don’t put off your learning about technology and ways to simplify your learning or workflow. Look for and enjoy the unplanned positives that may come out of pandemic changes. Take care of yourself – that will help you take care of others.