These days and weeks, all across the world, students and educators are returning to school after the summer. Ideally, to a safe, healthy, in-person learning and teaching environment having emerged from the pandemic even stronger than before.
But what if our reality – as students, teachers, or parents – looks very different from that? More like: Uncertain, scary, messed up, and simply annoying?
If you find yourself in one (or all) of these states, here’s what to do:
Shift from Know-How to No How
Do you have questions like mine?… Will the seminars I’m going to lead for Handel Group’s Human Better EDU this fall take place in person, digitally, or in hybrid mode? Will my 12-year old’s school resume in-person teaching, or are we facing more months of homeschooling? – Actually, I don’t have the slightest idea, and probably won’t find out until shortly before. Sound familiar to you?
While there’s not much we can do to impact the ever-changing circumstances of a pandemic, how we relate to these circumstances makes all the difference. Whether we choose to react or to respond to what’s going on. Whether we insist on knowing how it’s going to be, or embrace being in a state of “no how.”
When I react, it’s usually impulsive, in the moment, and often driven by my traits. (Like: I get overwhelmed, and the chilly trait I’ve come to call, “Ice Wall” shows up, pretending I was fine, when I’m actually not. Or: My controlling trait hates uncertainty, so it will try to “save” me by making me hoard as much, (never mind: useless) information as possible.). And that barely ever gives me the results that I want.
Responding (vs. reacting), however, requires me to take a step back, think, and act with a higher vision in mind: Who do I want to be? How do I want to show up?
Yes, many of us don’t know what this next term is going to look like. The good news is: Instead of wishing we knew more about what’s coming (and getting overwhelmed, frustrated, and annoyed if we don’t), we have the option to embrace the “no how” and to start creating from that place.
Let your dreams run the show
What would it look like if we showed up as the person we want to be known for, no matter what the circumstances? Even in times of uncertainty? Especially in times of uncertainty?
If we let our dreams run the show, we start by creating a specific and clear vision of what we want to make happen (and if you’re cringing at the thought of creating those visions: We’ve got you covered.):
“I’m a powerful source of inspiration for my students, guiding them on their journey to being deeply happy and fulfilled.” – “I am expanding my college experience and connecting with other students in exciting ways.” – “I make homeschooling fun.”
Can you see how these, or your very own specific visions, will put you in a much more empowered place for the upcoming school term than ….just hoping that this pandemic, too, shall pass?
Take inspired action
Asking yourself “What is my dream, my real goal, here?” is the beginning (and, for many, the hardest part). The next step is to take the right actions that will get you there:
What specifically do I need to do/not do/do differently in order to be a powerful source of inspiration for my students? – What actions can I take to connect with other students in exciting ways? – How can I actually make homeschooling fun?
The empowering shift takes place when we move from being the victim of our (pandemic) circumstances to the author of what we want to see in our (student, educator, parent…) lives.
Did I say this was going to be easy? No. But certainly easier than living in a place of being scared, messed up, or annoyed.
Did I say we’ve got you covered? Yes.