It’s Okay to Not Know What to Do Next

Today feels weird. 

Weirder than a normal Friday the 13th, full moon, week after time change. 

If you live in Ohio like Angela, you might feel like the world is burning. If you live in WI like Shana, you might feel like, what is happening?

Image result for what do i do next

No matter where you live, we want to remind you that it’s okay not to know the answers today. It’s okay to take a deep breath, close your eyes, and wait a while until you begin to try to figure out next steps. 

It’s okay to give kids an (air) hug and send them on their way with excitement in your voice. That’s what they need. 

It’s okay to keep up your usual lunchtime rant sessions alongside colleagues instead of maintaining “social distance.” It’s okay to worry about where we might send our own children if their districts close and ours remain open. It’s okay to continue to allow large gatherings of students to gather in our classrooms for lunch. Normalcy isn’t necessarily a bad thing right now.

I’m in a school today and hear teachers saying, “Have a great spring break!” And as soon as the kids leave, teachers are gathering work, finding chromebooks to send home, and collaborating on next steps, preparing for the worst.

Maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Maybe it’s okay to wait until Monday to see what unfolds. 

We want to create space as a community of teachers here at Three Teachers Talk to support each other. How might we figure out ways to eventually deliver instruction to kids remotely? It’s not enough to just assign StoryWorks, or send links home, or hope our kids have access to Schoology or Flipgrid. How can we continue to create space for our student communities to support each other? How can we make those experiences meaningful…ish? 

But that’s a post for later. 

Today we just want to join together in a collective hug deep breath gesture of support that doesn’t involve droplet transmission of any kind. 

Because we’re teachers. And we got this. 

Angela Faulhaber is a literacy coach in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Shana Karnes teaches in Madison, Wisconsin. Together, they support one another’s practice, reassure each other about political, social, and healthcare upheavals, and keep each other motivated to write through the use of witty text messages and snarky GIFs. May you find an equally like-minded teacher friend to help you survive and succeed in these trying times. Connect with us on Twitter at @wordnerd and @litreader, respectively.


5 thoughts on “It’s Okay to Not Know What to Do Next

  1. […] Three Teachers Talk that remind that my fears are normal and we will be okay. Friday’s post, It’s Okay to Not Know What to Do Next, hit me hard. Last week was rough at my school. Thursday and Friday we were in crisis mode. Small […]


  2. susanleescott March 13, 2020 at 11:24 pm Reply

    I’m in Vietnam and we’ve been teaching remotely for 6 weeks with another 3 coming up. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that this is a fast moving virus and the lack of toilet paper is the least of your worries right now. Just because you don’t have a case NOW, doesn’t mean you won’t have one soon.

    The biggest problem I can see in the USA right now is how to get food to students on free and reduced lunch…Now matter what your remote teaching looks like, when kids are hungry, or parents aren’t able to be present, very little learning will take place.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Melinda De La Rosa March 13, 2020 at 4:23 pm Reply

    I am just upset with all of the hype. It amazes me how there is no toilet paper, water, and now meat in our stores, yet we do not have ONE SINGLE case of CoronaVirus in our area. I am all about being cautious, washing hands, etc., but the panic that is sweeping over people is a bit ridiculous. I am discussing my students’ concerns, but we live 80 miles from South Padre Island. They are going down there for our Spring Break, and do not seem worried at all.


  4. JANICE RANDALL March 13, 2020 at 1:28 pm Reply

    YES – it is ok.


  5. Jamie March 13, 2020 at 1:27 pm Reply

    Thank you for this.


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