The role of teachers has changed dramatically in the past year. Schools have been at the forefront of those affected by Coronavirus, leaving many unsure of how it will return to normal, or how young people will recover from such massive disruption. In short, school in 2021 is far from the business as usual that we’re used to. Our young people are learning online with restrictions on who they can see. Teachers are planning endless online lessons, and those still in a school environment are anxious about the risks, on top of everything going on in life.
Hope, both as a concept and a feeling, is more meaningful than it has ever been before. For so long, the battle against Covid-19 has seemingly had no end in sight, and morale has been through the floor. However, this is what makes hope so important. The UK is making great steps in vaccination, and although safety and a true end are still not insight, we can see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
Young people in their youth and joyfulness are natural beacons of hope. They provide unfiltered insight and positivity into the lives of others. There’s a lot we can learn from them. Taking each day at a time, making the most out of opportunities, and staying kind to other people. These are perhaps the ways that we can get through this difficult period of time. As teachers, you are connected to others through the work you do, but also in a network yourselves. If in any way you can support a fellow teacher, or ask for help, take advantage of that in a way that a child would ask for help without fear. If an unscheduled opportunity comes up to have fun, catch up with a friend, or have some time to yourself - grab it with both hands.
These little things give us glimmers of hope, so it’s vital we capitalise on them.
It is however, also important to note that to feel hopeless is understandable, and you shouldn’t be shamed into thinking otherwise. We are, after all, in a global pandemic that has been dragging on for over a year. But phases of hopelessness always end, and our young people are reminders of this. There is still a future, a possibility of change, and everything passes in time.
So, if you are feeling hopeless, or struggling to maintain the mask of having everything in control, remember these things. It’s natural, everything passes, and you have a support network. To your young people, you are naturally role models and people of hope to them, whether you feel it or not. Let their energy and joy be hope for you.
Our free YLA resources look at the theme of hope and how we can grow hope in difficult times. The resources look at inspirational people of hope and explore what we can learn from their stories. Explore these resources and download them for free here.