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A Control Enthusiast Shows Up

It’s no secret that I’ve had a hard time adjusting to supporting students, teachers and parents during a pandemic. I am a planner or, as my husband likes to say, a Control Enthusiast. I need to know where I’m going, how I’m getting there, and what I’ll see and do along the way. Truth be told – I always have multiple plans! This applies to my personal and my professional life. I set goals and create a plan to achieve them. That’s me.

I did not plan for a global pandemic and it has really thrown this Control Enthusiast for a loop. I don’t like loops!

While I can roll with new resources and platforms, I’ve been struggling with the overwhelming feeling of not being good enough, of not being able to lead the way.

I like to think of myself as a proficient model person: What can the child do? What does the child know? What do I know? What can I do?

Lately, I’ve been struggling in the deficit model: I can’t do this… I can’t do that… The list is long and it’s getting in my way.

On October 17th, Teachers College held their 98th Saturday Reunion, their first virtual reunion. As always, I found something new and helpful in each and every session but it was the closing remarks that impacted me most. There, Lucy Calkins spoke of the importance of showing up. In that moment I thought to myself,

“Well, there may be a lot I can’t do, but I can show up.”

I show up to work every day. Completely exhausted and sometimes overwhelmed and frustrated, I show up.

I show up to connect with students, staff and parents through Zoom, Google Meet, phone calls, or behind masks.

I show up to encourage students to read, write or just join a session and give it a try.

I show up to help tutors learn new ways of building relationships with and teaching our most vulnerable students.

I show up to help teachers understand new resources, reflect on data, and revise their game plan for another day of virtual instruction.

I show up to reconfigure settings on devices so children can access instruction and parents can breathe easier.

I show up to answer the phone when teachers or parents are literally crying because they “just can’t do it anymore.”

I show up because I care.

I show up because we are all in this together.

My grand plans are out the window. My current plan is to find joy and success in the challenging, unplanned journey ahead and to keep showing up.

If you haven’t had the chance to listen to Lucy’s closing remarks, please take a break from your busy day to give it a listen.

Thank you to the TCRWP team for showing up to help us through this.

Thank you to all teachers who keep showing up!

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