A couple of weeks ago, a Principal described working through Term One of 2022 as like being stuck in quicksand.
And then a Teacher in a completely different school used exactly the same expression with me.
It does makes sense. The covid related interruptions most states are currently enduring are often worse, for educators, than remote learning. Student conduct issues, learning continuity issues, staff absence issues, student absence issues, split classes, parent complaints, cancelled year levels and completely closed schools in some places are just the beginning of the list of things we’re trying to cope with.
It makes every attempt to move and make progress an unthinkable struggle.
But, while I understand the simile, I think we need to stop using it now. Being stuck in quicksand conjures a notion that staying still is our next move, that we just need to wait for a hero with a branch to come along and pull us out.
Here’s the truth. Nobody is coming, let alone some educational Superman.
Sure, rest now. Enjoy and savour the end of Term One whenever it arrives for you. You’ve earned that many times over.
But then we move. The trick to escaping the current quicksand is not to stay still, but also not to expect too much. Almost any progress, the smallest possible step, will do.
Teachers – what’s the first and tiniest step forward that you could enable in your students early in Term Two?
School Leaders – what’s the first and tiniest step forward that you could trigger in your staff’s development or capacity?
No standing still, no giant strides. Just the motivating excitement of a smidge of progress. That’s all we need.
And for anyone who wants more from you – tell them to get stuffed from me!
Keep fighting that good fight,
PS. If you’re a School Leader that the quicksand simile resonates with, we should probably talk. The holidays can be a good time to contemplate the next important steps and I’m up for helping you. I’m working through the hols (in my shorts) and you can book a time to chat directly with me at this booking link. Let’s have a chat.
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