It's almost been two years since the COVID era began and it doesn't seem like things will get back to normal anytime soon. At first, I wasted a lot of energy wishing that coronavirus would go away and life would return to the way it was before the pandemic. However, bit by bit I have learned to just take things as they come and focus on what I could do, rather than what I couldn't. I've found new ways to spend my free time, work, and even exercise. I never thought I'd become the kind of person who exercises along to YouTube videos, but now it's become as much a part of my routine as brushing my teeth.
One thing I have really missed is making teaching presentations in person. Right before the pandemic started, I had finished taking part in a successful book tour from Sendai to Fukuoka for National Geographic Learning. Many teachers made the switch to presenting online, but I found it drained my energy and so I decided to do it as little as possible. However, I jumped at the chance to take part in an online event for TERA, an extensive reading organization for teachers in Thailand. I didn't have to present, but was instead in charge of a breakout room discussion with other teachers of young learners. It was so refreshing to hear from teachers in another country in Asia and discover that we had more things in common than differences.
This fall, Mr. Ito bought this Banksy and hung it in the classroom. I think it has a great message for these challenging times. We need to remember not to get frustrated with things that are beyond our control and save our energy.