Facing Challenges, Working in Quicksand, and Trying to Get it Right
The 2021-2022 school year began with a palpable, global, comfortable sigh amongst educators and parents alike. Schools worldwide were reopening, vaccines were now available for students, high percentages of staff were vaccinated, and everyone (students, staff, families, communities) was ready to launch into the new school year.
If September hit with a collective comfortable sigh, it can be said that January 2022 roared in like a tornado, leaving staff shortages, students once again facing remote learning, conflicts between teacher unions and school/community leadership over COVID-19 safety protocols, and parents and communities facing rising rates of COVID-19, yet, desperately wanting students to be back on campuses. The challenges facing schools, families, and the workforce are daunting, to say the least. School closures, daycare closures, workplace closures– January 2022 is a challenge! Once again, families are having to get creative about daycare, working remotely, balancing responsibilities, caregiving, and working while trying desperately to stay healthy.
As with everyone else, our lives at IMPACT Learning and Leading Group are impacted by COVID-19 and the January 2022 Omicron surge. If your January 2022 feels like a challenge as if you are working in quicksand and can't quite get it all right at the right time, we feel you!
Today we want to say to you, your team, your organization: we get it, we know how hard this is, and we know everyone is dealing with workplace and personal challenges in January 2022. No work sector, no country is immune to the challenges we collectively face battling the pandemic. We also know we cannot get through this without supporting one another. Our mantra is and always will be "Together we are better." Now, more than ever, we need to lean into this phrase. Think about small and big ways to help each other this month:
Listen without interrupting or giving advice.
Set up a daily or weekly check-in, think texts, a short call, email, etc.
Share a meal, send a meal, offer to cook.
Offer to be a caregiver for a period of time.
Take a walk with someone who is frustrated, feeling down, or overwhelmed and notice nature's simple daily offerings.
Get silly. Laughing together can ease tension and bring on the smiles.
In the end, we are all in this together, and how we move through it will either help us or hurt us. Getting through it with love, kindness to one another, and a shared sense of community is infinitely better. The pandemic won't be forever, and we will remember how we felt, what happened and how we treated one another. Why not try kindness and love? Take the risk; a common regret at the end of traumatic events is that of having skipped opportunities to connect with others. Additionally, we often find that by connecting with or helping others, we help ourselves cope through challenges. So, why not take the leap, reach out and help someone today? In the end, kindness is worth it.
"I give thanks for life. I honor life." —Peter Levine, World Trade Center 9/11 survivor video
"Sometimes reaching out and taking someone's hand is the beginning of a journey. At other times, it's allowing another to take yours." —Vera Nazarian
We care about you and your teams. Please feel free to reach out and let us know how you are doing. While we cannot solve all the challenges you are facing, we can listen and be a friend.
Jenice and Steven