The Learning Never Stops: A Plan For The Pandemic

TGIF and congrats on making it through the first week of Social Distancing while we are actively experiencing the trauma of a pandemic!

It’s been a rough week for all of us and I purposely waited to write this post until I could begin to understand and process what is happening to all of us, all over the world. 

It’s an overwhelming thought and one that can be paralyzing until you focus on the very last bit: this is happening to ALL of us, all over the world. 

I’m getting lots of requests for resources and strategies for both mental wellness and learning while we are all hunkered down together. I’ve been sharing Instagram and Facebook stories that I hope will make you smile, or even laugh and possibly experience a moment of joy. 

Accepting that we are all experiencing trauma right now, I am following my own therapeutic advice: be kind to yourself, take good care of yourself, do what you can with what you have, channel your anxious energy on doing what you can to help others, and find ways to be still and focus on the moment you are in and all the gratitude you can muster up and celebrate in that moment. 

That’s what I have been up to and I’ve given myself permission to take a “vacation” until Tuesday. I plan on keeping the news off, reading good books, connecting and laughing with friends – via phone, facetime, or six feet away. Eating and drinking things that I enjoy, walking and talking to my dog, breathing deep and discovering or re-discovering the sense of calm that the rituals of creativity can bring. 

On Tuesday, March 24th, I’ll be back and we can talk strategies. But I should warn you, unless you have already been a professional home schooler, my suggestion is to cancel all home school if your children are resisting it. 

You heard me right: CANCEL ALL HOME SCHOOL. Put a pin in it. Take a pause. We have plenty of time to catch up. 

School is a structure for learning provided by trained professionals. And it’s not the structure we need right now. While I give anyone who’s set up a folding table and printed out worksheets a lot of credit, you’d probably laugh if I tried doing your job at home right now. You’re not a teacher and even if you are, now is not the time for teaching. 

LEARNING is going to have to be creative. It’s going to have to be fluid, and in the moment, and calm, cool, and collected in a way that is comforting to all of us. Now is an opportunity to embrace the concept of true learning and join your family, friends, quarantine companions, whomever you’re with – where they are and help them to use this time to REALLY learn

Learn how to feel safe, to express fear and handle anxiety, to listen – actually listen, to be patient, to be kind, to make or bake something, to be grateful, to share empathy, to understand the importance of strength and weakness and vulnerability. 

Learn about the power of acceptance, to understand diversity in thought, in culture, and in the global community of which we are all citizens. Learn healthy coping skills that can work for each of us when we need them. Read or watch the stories of people who know these things and have modeled them for all of us. The world is going to be different on the other side of this pandemic and what our children will learn in this time we spend together are the values that will shape a newly changed world. 

My homework for all of us this weekend is to think back to when you were young and had no frame of reference beyond your sheltered world at that time. Look back over the years, and recall the important things that you’ve learned. How did you learn them? Who helped you learn them? How did they change and shape who you are today?

Share in the comments below or on social media and I’ll look forward to discussing this and more – and learning from all of you – on Tuesday.

Until then, take good care. Xo, Meg

Published by Meg Leahy, MS, NCC, BCC

An award-winning educator, author, and counselor with certifications in life, leadership, and career coaching, Meg believes in providing the skills, understanding, and resources to help people change their lives. Named a "Woman of Note" by the New York Times, and Best of Philly by Philadelphia Magazine, she also writes about ADHD, mental health and wellness, is the co-author of peer-reviewed textbooks on ADHD, and is the ¡Live Mas! In-House Life Coach at Taco Bell Quarterly.

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