With school literally around the corner, the tension in the air continues to grow. The heads of the government are meeting almost daily to work out the pandemic rules. The school administrators are working hard on the schedules. The teachers are taking every course possible to learn more about teaching online. Parents are checking the news hourly to see if their children will be home or at school; do they need to find day care or do they need to take off of work?
Yet, it seems that the only group of people who do not seem to be worried are the students. I believe most think it will be a year of staying in their pajamas or in bed while being on “zoom”. This attitude only makes it harder for the teachers, which I am one of.
I have given numerous zoom sessions this summer advising teachers on how to make their lessons more productive. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not the one giving them advice on the newest technology. I’m still the teacher that comes to school with chalk and with a pen and paper instead of using the smart board.
So what was it that I had to offer? I gave them ,in my opinion, the best piece of advice. “Lizrome”- “Let things slide” – “Go with the flow”.
It’s not going to help to get all flustered and put pressure on the administration when they themselves are trying to work it out.
But let’s be honest, who am I kidding? How much can I “Lizrome”? How much can I just “go with the flow”?
When I introduced myself to the fellow teachers on these zoom sessions this summer, I introduced myself as Leba Lieder, a teacher from Yeshivat Bnei Akiva in Ra’anana, who is always happy, loves her job and enjoys being in the classroom.
Then, I added the truth. Yes, I try to smile all the time but that’s because I start my day with an IV of vodka which is set up near my bed. During class breaks, when my students observe me drinking water from my water bottle, in truth it’s filled with vodka. Then, when I come home, I sit and relax and let’s say it together…. Have a nice drink of vodka.
Sure, that makes teaching during the pandemic a bit easier.
Kidding aside, I explained to the teachers that it is our job to show the students that this year is serious and it’s ok to be honest with them and tell them that we are all working on this together. This is all new to us.
Last summer, I was privileged to sit by my father in law who was gravely ill in Hadassah Ein Keren. In between the times when he was awake and when he was sleeping, I took the opportunity to write two books on my ideas on how to make lessons more creative.
The two books came out during Corona. One called Creative , Fun and Easy Lessons- Thinking Outside the Box is in memory of my father in law, Gerald Lieder who passed away the day before Yom Kippur. It supplies fun and creative lessons focusing on grammar, vocabulary, conversation and writing. The second book is called Creative , Fun and Educational Projects: PBL- Project Based Learning. I explained to the teachers that the new way of teaching is going to be through projects. With these projects, the students will be able to think “outside the box” and have intellectual conversations and form beautiful well thought projects.
With the right material and enough technological knowledge, all students can have a productive year.
We, as educators, parents, administrators and leaders have to “lizrome”- take a deep breath and with the right support (vodka???) , we will make it through this hard time.
Leba Lieder has written 5 books and has been teaching for over 35 years. She continues to love her profession and find the creativity in every lesson. Leba has worked with many teachers over the years guiding them in creating the best lessons possible.
Leba can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 050-875-0202. Both books can be bought through her or at Wiz Kids in Ra’anana.