5 Ways to Encourage Educators Through COVID-19

By April 22, 2020 SavED by Grace

5 Ways to Encourage Educators Through COVID-19

Lessons From An Assistant Principal at the Epicenter of COVID-19

Yvette Miguez

I am an Assistant Principal in the New York City Department of Education.  I live and work in Queens, NY, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been quite a rough few weeks for us, as I assume it has been for you since this has affected us globally. 

The past few weeks as an educator have been a whirlwind of learning.  We are adapting to technology at a rapid pace. The conversations I am having on the phone and through video conferencing have consisted of students who do not have access to technology, families battling symptoms of the coronavirus, fears, anxieties, and a lot of the unknown. These are unprecedented times; we have been faced with bringing the classroom into the homes of our students. Administrators, teachers, teaching assistants, speech teachers, and other related service providers have been working tirelessly in connecting with families and finding ways to keep our students learning. In all our meetings, during our phone calls, during our emails, and other forms of communication, the same word keeps coming up – OVERWHELMED.

Here are five ways we rise up out of being overwhelmed and stay encouraged.

Listen  – Everyone is feeling overwhelmed. In my school, we have a family that lost two relatives in the same household, another with parents on ventilators, and staff diagnosed with COVID-19. We are living in scary times, but we serve a big God. The same way He listens to us, He wants us to listen to each other. His word tells us to be anxious for nothing but let our requests be known to Him. I have been telling my teachers to encourage their students to share how they are feeling. During our department meetings, we are doing social and emotional check-ins with the teachers. My first advice for you is to listen to each other. Listen to your students, listen to your colleagues, and listen to your students’ families and validate what they are feeling.

By listening, you are serving the Lord.

Serve & Pray  – How can we serve during these times? Listening is the first way to help. Make lists of prayer requests so that you do not forget anyone. When you are talking to your students, ask them for the names of those they love who you can lift up to the Lord. This will encourage them, even if you just tell them you will keep their loved ones in your thoughts. Put those thoughts on paper and bring them before God.

Encourage – We are called to encourage. As believers, the Lord wants us to “Encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). I have been making short videos for families with encouraging words and tips and uploading them to Class DoJo and Youtube. Although I can’t discuss scripture with them because I work in a secular environment, my actions and love are a representation of God’s love.  

Ask the Lord to show you what you can do to bless your colleagues, your students, and the families of your students. If you are open to serving the Lord, the Holy Spirit will show you how to shine a light in ways not possible if you were still in the classroom. There is a reason for this season, and as hard as it is, let’s do what we can to serve the Lord through it.

Be Still  –  Most importantly, I would tell you to “be still.” I have been reading and meditating on the book of Exodus. The Lord reminds us in Exodus 14:14 that He “fights for us, we have only to be silent.” So I want to encourage you to be still before the Lord. Continue to have your devotional time and consider adding to that a moment of just being silent before the Lord. Regardless of all that is happening, He is sovereign. He works all things for good. He called you to be an educator for a time like this one. He has plans for you, plans for you to prosper, even through all this. So keep your head up and fix your crown because you are His child, and He needs you. You are a missionary, and your mission field is your school. So, be encouraged and ask yourself what will I do to serve the Lord through this?

Give Grace – Finally, be kind to yourself. Recognize that so much has happened.  Give grace to yourself by managing healthy expectations of what’s doable. Focus on what you can do today, to do your best for your students, and let God do the rest.

We will get through this because God’s got us.

Yvette Miguez is an Assistant Principal in the New York City Department of Education. She supervises two Special Education programs that serve students ages 5 to 21 who are on a range of cognitive functioning levels on the autism spectrum, are significantly emotionally challenged, have sensory impairments, or have multiple disabilities. She also oversees the ELL/Multi-language Learners department for the eight schools tied to her program.  She is known for her strong belief in family engagement and her passion for multilingual learners with special needs.  During her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, especially with her 18-year-old son Johnny who has ASD.  She has been a Christian since she was 18 years old and one of her favorite verses is Colossians 3:23.

EmailBlog

10 Comments

  • Stephanie Brown says:

    Thank you for those words of wisdom!!!

  • Walter Pleasnick says:

    Yvette,
    Thanks for composing this awesome message. It was very well written and timely. Your Christian perspective was refreshing and the information you provided was very useful for those of us who are struggling with matters related to the quarantine and to the challenge of implementing distance learning.

  • Karen S McGrail says:

    I loved the visual image when you said keep your head up and adjust your crown!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing! Praying God’s blessing over you and all those in NY.

  • Celestina Edmonds says:

    Thank you for your heart of God and your words of encouragement. Be blessed and be safe.

  • Melissa Chin says:

    You are truly remarkable! I’m honored by the ways in which you allow God to use you sis. I am one proud sister 👸🏻 You exemplify love, encouragement and grace during a time needed most. May God continue to bless and use you.

    Love Melissa

  • Maricarmen Petkanas says:

    This message couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I had been on many devices since early this morning, switching from laptop to IPAD and IPhone, I’ve participated in Google Hangouts, Teams, WhatsApp chats and FaceTime calls with colleagues and some parents. “ overwhelmed “ to say the least, I just sat down with a cup of hot chamomile and this awesome message! BE STILL, resonates with me! I’m processing the concept , the experience. Yes it’s possible and it’s much needed. I can say a “ little prayer now”. Amen. Thank you for sharing!

  • Marcia Antoine says:

    Thank you so much Yvette. I appreciate the encouragement

  • Heidi says:

    Love it! Thank you for sharing, Yvette! “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” – Proverbs 11:25

  • Ipolita Sanchez says:

    Awesome words of encouragement as we stand in Gods Word, in these present days where many hearts may fail because of fears and not knowing the Word of our Father. The Bible which is the Holy scriptures describes of such times as these and He has promised to strengthen and speak to the hearts of His people through this difficult time. I have lost relatives, friends, and presently have relatives with covid-19. One of my sons recovered from the virus through Gods grace, and my husband is presently hospitalized and it’s been heartbreaking but I look to the Lord Jesus Christ and through His Word and in prayer I be lifted up each new day with thanksgiving each time my husband picks up the phone. I put my trust in God that He will answer our hearts cry and bring the antidote to paralyze this virus as all others viruses have been defeated. Nothing is impossible with God! He is able and never forsakes his children! He did it in the OT and He most surely do it through the New Testament which is today promised and defeated through the blood of Jesus Christ! We continue to pray and believe God! 🙏🏼💔🙏🏼

  • Marsha says:

    Nicely written!!
    Marsha on Long Island

Leave a Reply