This post was written by National Geographic Certified Educator & Grosvenor Teacher Fellow, Alisha Lindsey.
The time has arrived to enter into a new school year. This summer I focused on decompressing from the previous 18 months of pandemic teaching. I found the need to decompress and remove myself from all things associated with teaching was very necessary for my overall well-being. Additionally, the process of decompressing was difficult and unnatural. As an educator, my summers traditionally center on professional learning throughout to improve my abilities. Yet, this summer I found my brain could not handle any form of learning. When I would attempt to do anything related to school, my brain just shut off. This was really telling. 18 months of intense teaching and learning clearly took its toll on my ability to process and engage. My body was literally telling me to stop all that I had traditionally done throughout the summer and focus on rebuilding, restoring, and recalibrating.
In addition to outdoor therapy, I dove into reading. I’ve had a goal of finishing all the books on my nightstand throughout the pandemic. This summer afforded me more time to continue to make a dent in that goal. Below is a list of my summer reads:
- American Ceasar: By William Manchester
- A Gentleman in Moscow: By Amor Towles
- The Lost Girls of Paris: By Pam Jenoff
- The Daughters of Kobani: By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
- The End of Ice: By Dahr Jamail
- The Half Has Never Been Told: By Edward E. Baptist
- You are Poetry: How to See – and Grow – the Poet in Your Students and Yourself: By Mike Johnston
- Visual Impact: By Wendy Pillars
Lastly, as a result of reading You are Poetry: How to See – and Grow – the Poet in Your Students and Yourself: By Mike Johnston and Visual Impact: By Wendy Pillars, I have worked to process the past 18 months through writing, poetry, and drawing. I think by engaging in these varied processes, I have allowed my brain to release the tension, stress, and trauma of my pandemic experience. I’m in a place where I can think about the upcoming school year and my brain does not shut down. As I go forward into another year impacted by the pandemic, I aim to keep myself anchored in nature, books, writing, and doodles.
Alisha Lindsey has been an educator for twenty years. She has experience teaching ESL, Bilingual education and general education. Throughout her career, she has taught all grades pre-K-8. This varied experience has enabled Mrs. Lindsey to understand how to help students conceptually understand the content and transfer their learning. Mrs. Lindsey is a National Geographic Certified Educator and Facilitator, 2019 National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow, Google Level 1 and 2 Certified Educator, the recipient of the Jeffco Values award for Teamwork in 2016, and a Jeffco Hero Award recipient in 2017.
Through reading and other forms of exploration, educators like Alisha are developing an Explorer Mindset in themselves, sparking curiosity and deepening their understanding of the natural world. Join them by cultivating your own Explorer Mindset and learn about Developing a National Geographic Explorer Mindset with Your Learners.
Lead Photo credit: Bruce Dale