During our last Zoom session, I asked my students to turn on their cameras if they had them. I needed to see their faces. I needed to know they were OK.
They say things are going well. They are adjusting. They are worried for loved ones – that they will be safe, that they will recover, that they will survive. They are hopeful for summer – for summer jobs, camp, vacations, and happier times.
I did my best to have enthusiasm and be energetic, but it was rough today. It was hard not to cry. I know there were moments when they saw my fatigue and heard the emotions in my voice. That’s OK. I have done my best. I have a good plan. The directions are clear. The course objectives are being met.
However, I wonder if the presentation of the information doesn’t still need to be adjusted. If the principles involved in the implementation of my curriculum and instruction don’t need to be modified. I question what else I can do to help my students through this changing time.
I reflect on a quote from the book Education that states, “In all true teaching the personal element is essential.” (p. 231). I spend time reflecting on Bible promises and searching for guidance from the Master in how to relate to my students like God does, from a distance.
I wonder…maybe during this period of life, in the midst of a global pandemic, it is not the information but the personal contact that I should be emphasizing.
The time spent actively listening.
The open mindedness.
The time spent ministering to hearts.
Maybe during these last few, chaotic weeks of the semester, the true purpose of my educational work should be in guiding students into finding a true source of hope in Christ. I don’t have the answers to my reflections or my questions.
I resolve to turn to the Bible as my guidebook. I resolve to help students “reason together” (Isaiah 1:18) with God through the various challenges that come.
When the social distancing is over and the pandemic fades into history, I want my students to remember that God was with them in the midst of their trials. I want them to remember I cared. I want them to know they were loved and missed.
I wipe away a few tears and take a deep breath. It’s time for my next Zoom session. My reflections have left me with peace in the knowledge that God is with me and will supply all my needs and those of my students. God will see us through. God will make a way. God will reason through life in pandemic with us.