Take a Breather

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home.”

Wilderness is a necessity.


Elena Aguilar points out in her book, “Onward”, a few simple steps to cultivating resilience.

When I first looked through the book, I thought two things:

1. Uhoh. This is written in super small font.

2. Wait! This is a very simplistic approach to things I already know. Boy, is it great to be reminded of these steps I can do to make my life a little more manageable.

At Palanca Leadership, we have many people who work as smaller cohorts on projects that we collectively see as important to education. When the coronavirus caused the closure of just about everything, we were just a week away from our “Be That Teacher Workshop #5” to be held at Western Michigan University.

We had a new partnership with Meemic Insurance.

We had devised a new video and were planning to film.

We were projecting a launch of a larger reach for education students, as we knew that early career educators are leaving our profession.

A small germ derailed our plans. We are sitting with the whole world in a holding pattern. As we wait, we need to learn some of the tips on resilience.

What we are doing is a “Plan B”.

Our mission is to support teachers. Since we feel uncertainty on the education front throws even veteran teachers in “never been done before” teaching, we are treating all teachers, new and seasoned, to a series of resilient tips.

· The first initiative is called “Tuesdays are for Teachers” and will be a virtually offered hour and a half on Twitter and Zoom. It will invite all teachers, across America, to tune in, express their concerns, and most importantly be connected and heard. It is this type of pedagogy that is needed at this time. Positive, engaging, and easy.

· We are also exploring the chance to get WiFI into more households. We have launched a campaign to connect with businesses to support community students who may not be equipped with internet connection in their homes.

· Palanca Leadership has always been about support for early career educators. Since so many parents will be needing resources, we have partnered with South Haven’s Lunch Program to provide each family picking up meals, to take a bag of books. These books have been donated by teachers in classrooms around Van Buren County. They were intended to build libraries for early career teachers in our workshops, but, just like everything these days, we are taking new avenues to achieve similar rewards. The free books may be used as reinforcement for literacy, comprehension, creative writing in identifying story elements, and just plain surplus reading for students and parents at home.

· Throughout the spring, Palanca Leadership ran small spots on social media featuring teachers and students who were engaged in distance learning.

Phew! Yes. We are doing our best for teachers but we also know how important it is to just be still.

We are sharing our love of Elena Aguilar’s writing for teachers to be able to take a breath. To figure out what they need to recharge.

She suggests:

· Spend time in the trees

· Sit near water

· Float in a pool or lake

· Get 15 minutes of sun

· Walk in nature

Here in Michigan, our summer and sunlight hours are becoming shorter. We must make the most of open spaces and the beauty of our land.

For teachers. All teachers. We hear you. We see you. We are here for you.

Thanks for listening.


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