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The 12 works of the educator in the time of the pandemic

We recently came across this text with a particularly catchy title for any amateur teacher of the universe of Asterix, "The 12 works of the teacher at the start of the school year", by Alexandre Audet. He has agreed to share it with you, dear readers, in order to help you establish your professional benchmarks for this special return to school.
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Automated English translation - (sometimes hilarious) mistakes can creep in! ;)

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Usually at this time of year my head is bubbling over with ideas for the school year. Right now, faced with so much uncertainty, I don't really know where to start to prepare.

I share with you here a list of the 12 works of the teacher at the start of the school year. With this inventory, I try to get out of the benchmarks to try to see a little more clearly in this fog that is the re-entry in times of pandemic.

1- Define yourself by the WHY rather than the WHAT

The teachings of Simon Sinek in his work " Start With Why Are very relevant at the moment. Some teachers define themselves by what they do (WHAT): I am a kindergarten, chemistry or grade 4 teachere year. So when we lose our HOW - our classroom and some of our resources - and our students may return to distance in the near future, we experience a lot of angst. "How am I supposed to teach science without my lab?" "

Hence the importance of defining ourselves from the WHY of what we do. For example, telling us that we are there to help our students constantly grow and improve, that we teach them to develop critical thinking about the world around them, or to help them develop a curiosity about things. science.

Imagine the possibilities that this way of seeing offers: whether we are in class with all our students or online (or a mixture of the two), all our actions will be oriented towards achieving our WHY.  

Find yours and let it guide you to decide HOW and WHAT. So if other unexpected situations arise in the future, you will have a solid foundation to build on.

2- Humans first, then the program 

The schools were not built to allow us to pass our curriculum, the school is there to develop humans.

The current situation is the perfect time to refocus on the student. How to ensure that it can continue to grow? Personally, I believe that pedagogy should remain in the background in September. There are more important "things" in our classes: our students. 

3- Connection with our students

To develop humans, you have to be interested in them, to connect. This re-entry will be no exception to the rule. After experiencing an abrupt break from routine last spring, children of all ages have suffered, like most everyone, from social isolation.

Roch Chouinard offers to emphasize the need for affiliation of young people. More specifically, he proposes that the students stay with the same class group and that the number of teachers (3 to 5) be reduced as much as possible for each group. He also suggests that the students have an assigned teacher who will follow them closely to help them, among other things, to follow up and set goals.

In short, the goal is to reduce the anxiety of the student who returns to school after a long time. If he feels well surrounded by classmates and a few adults, the return should be a little smoother. To do this, discussion periods to take the pulse of the class at the start of the day would give everyone the chance to show empathy.

4- Empathy

Several students and colleagues will have lived through difficult situations in recent months, we will have to take each one where he is. 

Brené Brown draws a subtle distinction between sympathy and empathy. In the first, we project our emotions onto the other (“My God, you must be sorry!”), Which tends to lead people towards isolation. On the other hand, when you empathize, you feel the emotions with the other (“What you tell me makes me really sad too.”). It's by showing empathy that you can really connect with the other, because you listen to them, you put yourself in your shoes and you don't necessarily try to find a solution or an answer.

If everyone empathizes, we can get through a lot together.

5- Reduce the gap between educators

The events of last spring brought to light the shortcomings in teacher training and professional development. Some teachers have found themselves overwhelmed when it comes to bringing their classrooms online. For others, the shock was more educational: what to do if the students do not have their textbook? 

Thus, to reduce the gap between the level of technological or educational ease, we need to talk to us more. Let's stop being afraid to admit our ignorance. Let's go see our colleagues who seem more on the lookout for the areas that pose challenges to us. 

Conversely, I believe that we must also open up more to others. There are a bunch of excellent educators who don't blog, who aren't on social media, who do their "little business" in their corner. Let's go get these diamonds so that they put our shoulder to the wheel. Let's create opportunities to share problems and solutions with colleagues. As proposed Natacha Vautour on Twitter, why not take a little 10 minutes at the end of each day to talk to colleagues in order to discuss successes and challenges encountered?

If the teachers help each other to become learners, imagine the repercussions on the school climate, and what a great example to set for the students!

. . .

To read the original version of Alexandre and the 6 following works, go to Prof Audet's blog.

  1. Find out what part of the school experience you want to relate to the new "normal"
  2. To go faster, sometimes you have to slow down
  3. Reduce the gap between school and home
  4. Get used to the change
  5. Promote active pedagogy
  6. Keep the flame burning

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