‘Boat Afloat!’ was a sub-theme of our Teacher Sharing Day about a year ago. Like (possibly) anyone who used to work with small kids, I love elements of arts and crafts in my lessons and sessions. On that day, all the conference attendees made their own paper boat to symbolize that we ourselves are the source of our own power and inspiration. Some pictures that captured that moment can be found in this post.
One year later, and we are on a global quarantine. All in the same boat (it may at times feel like it is made of paper…) No, this is not a post about teaching online, creating (a)synchronous courses for learners and even parents, sharing a list of new online applications or endless opportunities for reflection and professional development the ‘stay at home time’ is offering.
One metaphor I recently encountered has been on my mind for a couple of days now: when we are in the boat, we can’t choose the way the sea ‘behaves’. The sea around us can be stormy or steel, calm or furious, ______ or ______ (please think of more adjectives for me!). While we can’t control the sea or choose the weather around, we can be in control of what’s inside the boat.
We can keep it clean and tidy. We can choose how we respond to the storm, adjust to the wind. We can choose the destination (or course correct, if needed) and route.
To me, like many my colleagues around the world, the ‘boat’ now is the home place and the remote/distant/online teaching. An asynchronous course for teachers is about to start, and I am reflecting on how I can communicate with the participants in the coming weeks, adding more compassion, empathy, and warmth into my writing. I want my boat to be a ‘Kindness Boat’, contributing to shortening the social distance through the virtual interactions and written assignments.
How do you make your teaching/training/coaching/blogging kinder these days? How do you practice kindness to yourself and with those around you?
Stay healthy, and may our boats be afloat!
Update on 13 April: Seth Godin wrote a wonderful post yesterday called You’re Surrounded, and the boat metaphor was used at the end of it. Linking to remind myself later. Hope you enjoy it.