This post was written by #NatGeoCertified educator Jodi Anderson.
There’s one question lingering in my mind as I consider the transition from the end of the school year—which was abruptly cut short—to the next chapter: what’s next? As a classroom educator and now instructional coach, I have been on a similar journey as many of you: struggling to bring learning online to life, managing ever-changing roles and expectations, and trying to find ways to serve my students’ interests and social-emotional needs at the same time. After many weeks of being inundated by emails and long lists of resource recommendations, I found comfort and the critical support I need during this time through my own online professional learning with National Geographic Education. It has been an opportunity for me to stay busy, have rigorous and meaningful growth experiences, and gain support from a global community of educators experiencing the strange new world of education along with me.
As the school year draws to a close and we approach summer, more than anything, I encourage you to do what is best for you. We have all been running at a full sprint, and now is an opportunity to take a breath and do something that feeds our brains, enhances our capacities as educators in an increasingly virtual world, and serves as a moment of recovery. For me, that means continuing to fill my time with learning experiences that bring me joy and calm. While the situation we’re in now is not permanent, I know the skills and experiences I have learned in these courses will be applicable in the long term, both online and in person.
Through the power of online professional learning, I have found that, even for the most isolated educator, you don’t have to reach far to get support. It is a chance to have a shared experience, focus on what feels important, reenergize, and stay positive (if not for ourselves, then for our students!), and leave feeling better than before. From the many courses I have taken with National Geographic Education, I have developed deep connections with a global community of educators, learned content and practices I apply every day, and found exciting ways to support educators and students in any setting. I hope you join me on this journey.
Feature image by Lori Epstein