OUR Pep Talk: 2020 Edition

Hi there! It’s been awhile.

We’ve reached the point in the beginning of the school year where teachers have facilitated several Open Up Resources 6–8 Math lessons after hours of planning and creating and making adjustments… but something just hasn’t “clicked” with students, and pacing of lessons is showing the cards of the frustration and discouragement of educators everywhere.

I’m here to say: It’s going to be okay! And you’re doing amazing! (Even if it doesn’t feel like it.)

Even if you’ve taught with amazing curricula, all of these ideas are new this year:

  • New students: Building community isn’t a week-long endeavour. Reimagining and communicating students’ engagement, expectations, classwork, and active learning will be a challenge.
  • New instructional routines: Even if you’ve taught your curriculum in the past, the routines will be different within the virtual space or face-to-face-and-6ish-feet-away. It won’t be perfect overnight. That’s okay!
  • New ways of learning: …for students AND teachers! We’re not only teaching online, but you’re engaging in PL online. You’re attending webinars and Zoom meetings. You’re looking for blogs and on social media. You’re reimagining education, and planning for it is an endeavor. It’s. A. Lot.
  • Hardships, not all new: Sickness and death, racism and a tired cry for social justice, job loss and economic struggles, just to name a handful.
    …and then there are the ever-changing directions, procedures, and demands, at the district and state levels.

Here are my thoughts if you’re working with Open Up Resources 6–8 Math… 

  1. Trust the curriculum. It’s quality. It’s engaging. It’s just the beginning; the coherence allows for the concepts to build and build on the focus standards of each grade level.
  2. Give lots of grace. To students, parents, colleagues, administrators, and yourself!
  3. Make the most of the little moments, especially synchronous learning moments.

And here are some blogs of people who write so much more beautifully than me:

You’ve got this and I believe in you! THANK YOU for all you do for the learners in your classroom, near and far!



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