Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand, Six Hundred Minutes…

SOLSC21, Day 9

It’s been a year since we went into remote learning mode, so our principal wrote us a very encouraging note, and sent us two beautiful songs, Memories and Seasons of Love, to listen to. The first I’ve played for my students a few times, and it has brought tears to my eyes each time. The second one, I hadn’t heard before, and it brought tears to my eyes too. And then, I just opened my students’ daily writing journals. Some of them have been writing about how this is all getting just too much for them, how they’re feeling so easily overwhelmed with assignments, how badly they miss school, and how under-motivated they feel all the time. And I just don’t know what to think or feel right now. What do these 14-year olds need most now? Love? Empathy? A listening ear? Encouragement? A little of all, I guess.

I wish I could make it better for them. On most days, I do try a little something, a little extra to reach out to them, or to liven them up. Just the other day, I asked them to name one positive from the past year. Responses mostly were about two things: They got to spend more time with family, or they got to learn a new skill/hobby. And I told them that right now, they may not realize the importance of what they’re saying, but these two things can prove to be such anchors later in life, they can keep so many ills at bay. Spending time with family keeps one grounded to your roots and could prevent that feeling of being adrift; cultivating a good, productive hobby helps keep one feeling useful long after we’ve stopped working or being ‘productive’ in the societal sense of the word.

This conversation set me thinking, actually. It is so important to set time aside to invest in our future when we’re young. Cultivate relationships, cultivate hobbies, and if I were to add one more to the list: Cultivate a little bit of spirituality. Of course, there’s no fixed formula and no one-size-fits-all, but these habits could contribute towards a sense of fulfilment from life. For, There’s “Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes… How do you measure a year?” Tomorrow, I will play that second song for my students.

Published by Shaista

I have been teaching in different capacities for 15 years now, from kindergarten to middle school, to even adults. I LOVE teaching, LOVE change, LOVE trying out new things. Immersion in newer teaching techniques has, for better or worse, changed me forever.

7 thoughts on “Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand, Six Hundred Minutes…

  1. Shaista, your words spoken to your students about how spending time with family and learning a new hobby can be an anchor in life are such deep wisdom for your students. Family does keep us grounded and our hobbies do give us something to do with our time when we know not what to do anymore. While you are helping your students gain a more meaningful insight of family and hobbies, my guess is that those who read this may also awaken to this. Your words here are so thought provoking. Thank you for being the teacher your students need.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Seasons of Love is now stuck in my head. There are worse things that could be happening. I am hoping Spring Break helps reset students mental health and energy. OK, not just the students’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right. There ARE worse things. Just that maybe these kids don’t realize it. We know how it is at their age. And maybe talking and making them understand helps.


  3. I feel this post so strongly. That wishing, that deep desire to just make things better for others. I get that. And yes – how do we measure a year? A life? What is the weight of a moment? Thank you for this thoughtful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am noticing that my students are struggling more right now. This is all very hard, and it just keeps going on. It must feel like a lifetime for them. I really appreciated the two bright spots that they could identify. I know for me, this year has reinforced my realization that I, too, need to have hobbies. I can’t and shouldn’t just be about work all the time. I hope that is something I’ll hang onto post-pandemic as well. And yes to your question about what students need most right now. It’s difficult to know how to meet their needs. More empathy, more grace, more encouragement…

    Liked by 1 person

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