This has been an unprecedented year of testing the limits of our individual and collective patience. We’re tired of being patient about this pandemic, we’re tired of being patient about the election and the lack of a transition of power, we’re tired of being patient about dismantling systemic racism and inequality – we’re tired of having to be patient about virtually everything.
But if 2020 has taught us anything it’s that patience isn’t about waiting for something to happen. People taking to the streets to protest racism and injustice and record voter turnout are two very public and tangible ways we can see how waiting is not an option if we want better things for ourselves and our country. Patience means we work hard and if we get a result that maybe didn’t give us all the things we wanted, it just means we have to reassess the things we didn’t get and work on them again, perhaps in a different version or by negotiating with different people. Patience, in essence, is hard work.
In the previous articles I wrote for Chaparral, I addressed when we are unified, we are stronger, and when we speak, we speak for others. I presume you’re all sensing a theme here. As a union of professional educators, unity, advocacy, and patience are foundational elements as we seek to make things better for our members.
But on a more micro and personal level, be mindful of your own patience as educators. As we approach the holidays and are rounding out our first semester of fully remote learning, thank yourselves for your unyielding patience with students and technology, with your children (if you have them) and the immense learning curve they’ve experienced having to go to school online (and you having to facilitate it), and allow yourself to accept the shortcomings of the things you didn’t receive as a result of your patience. These are trying times, but I ask that you try again because patient people get the best results.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, end of semester, and well-deserved holiday break!
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