resilient & resourced educator podcast #12
Sheri: Teach with Your Heart Forward
Sheri has been a thoughtful, engaged educator for 20 years primarily in the areas of Phys Ed and Guidance. Now, during this second lockdown to start the new year, she and her educator husband are both teaching at home at the same time that their two children are learning at home. It’s not just her children who need support, Sheri admits that even the dog has needs during the day! The impact of the pandemic on education is a learning situation for everyone and Sheri has hopes that we will learn enough to not go back to the status quo post-pandemic.
Sheri notes how the pandemic is shaking up big systems like health-care, religious organizations and education. One example from education that she shares is how some students are flourishing with online learning so she hopes that the needs of these particular students will be addressed when things return to face-to-face learning.
For new teachers, Sheri encourages them to recognize that this likely will be their hardest year ever and that they have a full career ahead of them. She also notes that they will also be at the forefront of how education changes by having seen the way things were and how things can be better going forward.
Spring of 2020 was a tough time for Sheri. She suffered the loss of her father-in-law, worked through a cancer diagnosis and had surgery on top of the stress of pivoting to supporting students as their Guidance Counsellor from a distance. The fall brought radiation treatments and the stress of knowing how much work she was leaving for her colleagues. With the strong encouragement of her supportive colleagues, Sheri took the leave of absence she needed to recover and returned to work in November feeling strong and ready to go.
Sheri expressed gratitude at so many points for the flexibility of the system to allow her to do the healing she needed to do and the chance to stay connected with her students on the phone when face-to-face is not possible. Besides her strength in communication, Sheri works hard to teach with her “heart forward” so that she can meet her students and all of their unique situations right with caring support.