October 13, 2020

Learning from Home 2020: A School Year of Grit

*by Paul (Rock) Rathgeb, Friend -mentor

2020 has been a school year never to forget – one of Grit and Perseverance! You student had to take on a new way of learning, entirely from home – trying it out and giving it your best shot! You’re not alone in this global calling to each other safe, but remember to pause for a moment to applaud yourself for taking on the biggest challenge in Growth Mindset – a strong willingness to try learning from home. This is not easy, but you are doing it. It may not feel perfect or “normal,” but your nimble strong and got this!

Education never stops when schools’ close doors. Learning happens all the time, in our homes, at the beach, along a walk, in the park or in our communities. Just keep in mind that learning from home at times can be difficult for everyone, youth, parents, and yes teachers too. Teachers too have been thrown into the position of teaching from home, so they too will make mistakes – learning never stops even in our adult years. It is going to be an area of Growth Mindset for everyone as we navigate technology, assignments, due dates, and schedules. So, we all must practice patience and care with ourselves and each other.

When it comes to distance learning you may feel nervous, scared, bored, not interested or a whole mix of emotions, but the key is to simply give it your best. There me days when you may not want to show your face on a Zoom, Google Meetup, or Teams with other students and your teacher, but the first step is to simple Join – be a part. It will take time getting familiar with the technology and feeling comfortable using it. There may be days when you may feel like not doing the assignment that your teacher wants you to do from home. But just keep in mind that learning or getting better at something requires discomfort – this is where we get stronger. This is how we become our best selves! The first step again is to simply try.

This whole doing school from home is what college students often have an option to do. You may not being doing college level school work yet, but this sort of experience of communicating with your teacher over the computer and sending all your work electronically is what college students have been doing for years through online Web Classes. So, this is great practice for when you are in college or a career through active listening, meeting expectations, and controlling your own education.

Just know that I cannot physically be there like when I visited you at school, but know I believe in you to get the work done, stay on track, and do the best you can! If there is anything at all that comes up or if you need help with speak-up – let your teacher, parent, older sibling, or Mentor know. And don’t forget as your Mentor I believe in you! The whole Friends of the Children-Portland community believes in you!

I’ll leave you with a quote by a great legendary Blues musician:

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” BB King