3 Resolutions for Remote Teaching during COVID-19
By Ana Maria Blanco
It seems like overnight a time of crisis management shifted into what many have coined the “new normal.” This is truly a new era that no one saw coming, yet here we are. So how will we respond as educators? We’ve stepped up to the plate before and we will do it again. As followers of Christ, we will resolve to be everything God has called us to be in our sphere of influence.
We usually talk about resolutions when the New Year rolls around, but I’d like for us to consider what resolutions we can make as we embrace this new season of teaching. A resolution is a firm decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner. Too often we associate resolutions with goals that are unreached or promises that are quickly broken. However, a true resolution is a decision based on conviction. We can choose what we are determined to be and do based on the passions of our heart. When we have true resolve, we are immovable. Our resolutions become a declaration for our lives.
What will we resolve to do in the time we’ve been given for remote teaching?
Here are three resolutions that the Lord has laid on my heart:
Resolve to love.
Resolve to love students and their families. They are living through circumstances they would have never imagined and facing the same challenges as the rest of our world. Love will see them as partners in this learning, not the adversary. Love will seek them out when they have not been present. Love will choose to be patient with any effort they make to engage with the virtual classroom, whether big or small.
Resolve to love colleagues. Love those who sometimes go above and beyond and might make you feel like you’re not doing enough! Love will choose to celebrate, not envy or tear down. Love those who ask a million questions and don’t seem to be catching up. Love will choose to honor and help, not ridicule or belittle. Choose to honor them by valuing what they have to say and contribute.
Resolve to love administrators. They are also dealing with changing expectations as things evolve by the hour! Love will choose to understand and cover them in prayer, not criticize or slander.
Resolve to love those in your home: parents, siblings, spouse, children. We have the closest contact with these, may we not neglect or forget them in our virtual busyness. Love will make time to listen and check in.
“[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:7-8a)
Refuse to be bitter.
Resolve to say ‘no’ to cynicism and bitterness. It’s easy to be mad at the world as this epidemic persists. Everything we knew has been turned upside down and no one has a clear answer as to when it will end. When we went into teaching we did not sign up to be behind a screen to deliver instruction, yet this is our reality. At this point, nearly all schools will be ending the year remotely. Teachers and families are not happy. We are understandably stressed and rightfully upset. But we must refuse to be bitter. Bitterness is toxic to our heart. Becoming resentful of this situation or of people will only hurt us. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4: 31-32). We can’t change the situation, but we can choose how to respond to it.
Seek the Lord.
Resolve to carve out time that is just for Him and you. Yes, we should be in constant prayer and union, but there is nothing like having a set time of communion with our Savior. Take this time to journal, record your prayers, memorialize this journey—create a Google Doc, blog, or vlog.
Resolve to meditate on His word. The best intake for our souls is the Word of God. “Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants” (Deut. 32:2) The Bible is living water for our souls. It refreshes us and nourishes us. When we fill ourselves with this word, out of the overflow of our hearts our mouths will speak (Luke 6:45) and we can declare the goodness of God out into a world that desperately needs it.
Resolve to take time to worship through song and instrument. The Lord inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). Take time to really worship along with a song, not just play it in the background. Something powerful happens when a lyric and a melody come together to touch the heart of God. Chains are broken. Joy breaks out!
So, as we charge ahead in this “new normal,” let us set resolutions that will honor God, bless others, and strengthen our spirit in the name of Jesus. I believe this will be our best season yet.
“Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
Ana Maria Blanco is a teacher in the NYC Department of Education. She holds a license in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL). She has taught kindergarten, 3rd, and 4th grade. Being a Christian from a young age, her life’s goal has been to embrace every place she walks into as her mission field, including her classroom. She has a passion to see people walk in their true identity in Christ and to see teachers who love Jesus walk out their power and spiritual authority in the classroom.