Tuesday, 26 May 2020 09:59

Thank you teachers and remember to breathe

We are navigating through unprecedented times. Our personal and professional lives are being disrupted. This new and serious life experience is making us think deeply, reconsider essential aspects of our life and reveal our core values. It is also a time of gratitude for what we have.

I have been a big fan of the work of Otto Scharmer (MIT Senior Lecturer and co-founder of the Presencing Institute). He talks about “leading from the emerging future” and discusses three essential attitudes we need to embrace to transform ourselves and to transform the world: having an open heart, open mind and open will. Those are our deeper sources of excellence.

With this in mind, I want to recognize our AAS faculty and all educators around the world who are engaged in Distance Learning or Hybrid approaches and thank them for all the hard work they are putting in to continue to design learning for all students.

  • They have an open heart: They care immensely about their students' wellbeing, they design learning experiences that attend to the heart. Our counselors are checking in with students and faculty on their wellbeing. Our learning support specialists continue to collaborate with teachers and with students to support or enrich the skills that some of our learners struggle with or have already mastered.
  • They have an open will: They are ready to throw themselves into the unknown to serve students the best way they can, even as they find themselves in a challenging and new situation, they are lifelong learners demonstrating creativity, ingenuity and a strong desire to do better.
  • They have an open mind: Our teachers are adapting to the advent of a whole new system to keep the learning process intact. The teachers themselves are practicing inquiry to keep the educators community of our school, up to speed, ready and prepared for this time. Students and teachers are relying on each other and making this a collaborative and fruitful time of learning. We find them quite unstoppable!

Educators are stretching and maintaining their integrity with grace: they are being compassionate, brave and curious. They clearly are turning this difficult time into a period of opportunity. However, let’s remind them to also take care of themselves and breathe. To support them, Caitlin McLemore and I have recently created a mindfulness meditation which helps educators to remember to place their wellbeing, the wellbeing of their loved ones and their students’ well being first (before learning and curriculum) and to be gentle with themselves by practicing self-compassion.

Fanny Passeport
Director of Learning & Curriculum at AAS Sofia