Instead of quarantining" or "self-isolating," I'm embracing this experience as "cocooning." For me, it's a much more positive way of framing it. In the cocoon stage of life, growth takes place that will ultimately lead to something better.
The growth that occurs during cocooning is what must happen to move forward and onto the next stage. This process is similar to what many teachers and leaders are experiencing right now. Many educators had no idea of what "school" would look like when our buildings began to close, and some experienced overwhelming frustration and anxiety while attempting to use unfamiliar tools for remote instruction. Now, several weeks later, many have learned new technical and pedagogical skills, as well as new habits of mind to engage and support their students and colleagues in meaningful learning experiences.
I think we can all agree that the cocoon stage may not be pretty. It's rarely referred to when describing the beauty we see in the butterfly, but I'd argue that it's the most vital period of its life as it sets the stage for what it will become. Again, this is similar to what educators have been going through. We have been barraged with the unforeseen and, in some cases, unfortunate realities of remote instruction. For the butterfly, this phase is when it prepares to show and share what all that time spent inside was for. And it can be the same for us. The preparation or development stage isn't the finished product nor the performance that draws the "oohs and ahhs," but it's the beginning of what will. This season is shaping what our practices and pedagogy will look like in the future.
I plan to work on some of the projects that I've been putting off. Many of them are well organized on my "when-I-have-more-time" shelf.
Nature is saying, here is the opportunity. Now is the time.
When this mandatory period of cocooning is over, and we emerge as butterflies, it will be the result of how we choose to spend this time.
How are you cocooning? Would you like some help figuring out what your next steps might be? Let me knos in the comments below.