The meditation for July 16th in my Greg Henry Quinn book 365 Meditations for Teachers is: “Everything in Life is Cyclical.” This axiom provides a warning: if things are going well, prepare yourself. It also provides eternal hope. No matter how bad things are, they must eventually improve.” It’s helpful to keep this in mind as we move further into the summer and closer to a school year that remains yet undefined.
Knowing and believing in the inevitability of change can bring us peace. As bad as things seem, they will get better. Really savor how calm things are now. At some point this will shift. Accepting change opens us up to all the possibilities and opportunities change brings.
What happens when we don’t like the opportunities change brings?
This is where acceptance is crucial. As we have said, to accept something does not necessarily mean you like what is happening. It means you’ve chosen to stop fighting against or running from it, and instead recognize it is here. It is what it is. Acceptance changes you. It does not change the situation.
Because there are so many unknowns in the world right now, it’s important to focus on what we do know for sure.
- I am here in this moment and I am breathing.
- I am preparing my lessons to be as effective as possible either in-person or through video.
- I am more prepared for remote learning this fall than I was in the spring.
- Even though I have anxiety about the upcoming school year, I fully and deeply trust myself to make decisions that are safest for me and my family.
- I know that I will plan to start waking early on August 1st to prepare myself for school year hours, and that, realistically, I will not actually begin this practice until August 20th.
Quinn also says this about change: “When a child learns to accept change without fear, he or she then affects change within himself or herself by learning. A teacher [can] be the comfort of continuity from which new and exciting things spring.”
As parents and educators, we are in the position to be the constants for our children. This does not require us to ignore our own fears or try to fake our way through them. Children, as you know, quickly see through that. Even if you aren’t seeing yourself as a wellspring of “comfort of continuity”, your children and students are looking to you. Model to them authenticity, openness to new possibilities, and rolling with the unexpected.