I’m Frustrated!

“If you can name it, you can tame it!”

These are words of wisdom from Marc Brackett, Founding Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University. We are using Brackett’s approach to social emotional learning (RULER), and part of that work is to teach children (and adults) to name their feelings (and then try to shift them if desired).   The single act of naming your emotion with precise language is supposed to help you begin to deal with your feelings in more constructive ways.

I’m trying that today.  As we try to figure out this distance learning model, I’m finding that some things that were pretty straightforward when we were doing this teaching and learning thing in our schoolhouses, are rather complicated when using technology.  Everything seems to take too long to figure out.

I’m frustrated!

Read Aloud, for example, turns out to be a pretty complicated idea.  When we first shut our schools last week, I made a list of things I could do during this remote learning period.  One of those ideas was to video or audio record some Interactive Read Alouds.  I figured this would be a nice way to stay connected with children and families, a way to help teachers with their literacy instruction, and a powerful way to layer in some good teaching and learning.  But then I started hearing about copyright issues.  I get it.  We certainly want our authors to benefit from the sale of books, and we would never want to impact their work in a negative way.  I just never thought it would be so complicated.

I’m frustrated!

A group of us worked together on this for the last few days.  We tried to read and understand the law, we talked with each other, we reached out to librarians and technology experts, we talked with other teachers via Twitter and email and Facebook, and we tried to get some sort of guidance from our district administrators. Eventually we found a way to record Read Alouds and share them with families without violating any laws or hurting any of our favorite authors. It’s just that it took such a long time.

I’m frustrated!

Naming my emotions has been helpful.  I feel a bit calmer.  I feel like I’m being authentic and sharing how I feel with all of you.  Now I need to move to the next step, which is working to shift my feelings to a more positive place.  Hopefully I can make that happen.

Thanks for listening! It helped.


15 thoughts on “I’m Frustrated!”

  1. Oh my gosh, it’s going to be so frustrating, I’m sure! Your post weaves in the “naming an emotion” theory so well with your current emotional state. We will have our first meeting today as a leadership team and will begin ramping up to Monday, which is supposedly going to be day one of remote learning. In regards to copyright, I did receive an email from our brilliant librarian in which she told me that Scholastic and Penguin Random House have relaxed their copyright laws. Hope that helps!

    1. Yes, we have that information as well, and it does help. Everyone is trying to lean in and help kids. It’s really pretty moving. Good luck with you plans. If I can be of any help at all (not that we have too much experience, but maybe you don’t have to experience the same start up frustrations), just reach out. We are all in this together!

  2. Your slice really communicates your frustration. Working together, though, helped you to solve the problem. And you’re right: naming the emotions does help us tame them and knowing that others are listening and hearing you also helps. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. I sense your frustration and concur w/ the learning curve reality. Have you seen Kate Messner’s read-aloud resources? Lanny has a link to them in the TWT short list of resources posts published today.

    I do hope teachers and districts slow down and breathe. This is not a time to rush. We can do much for students by teaching them the value of taking tasks slowly in this uncharted territory.

  4. Thankfully, we are all in this together. I leave my frustrated space when I think of all the actors, authors, musicians, teachers and just regular folks (whatever that means) who are posting their work and helpfulness for free. YOU and all of those people are amazing. Hope you can shift t see all that you are doing to help. 🙂

  5. I’m going to share that exact frustration, come next week when our Spring Break is over and we possibly begin distance learning. I’m also a pencil-and-paper planner…and my plans are at school. I know what I want my upper grades to do, but for the life of me, I can’t remember the exact read-alouds I had planned for the upcoming weeks. I may have to sneak into the school so I don’t get frustrated over that detail!

  6. You’ve made an excellent mentor text for using writing to activate and develop emotional intelligence. Sounds like you also worked through the frustration to find potential solutions, proving how you can feel something negative temporarily en route to different emotions. Go, you.

  7. This seems like a good strategy to try in these times. Would you be willing to share what you ended up deciding to do about read alouds? I was thinking today that that felt like something manageable I could do with my class–except for those copyrights.

  8. SO frustrated.
    Let’s chat tomorrow. I really like how you broke this piece up and connected to Marc Brackett.
    I think I named my feelings multiple times today.

  9. Thanks for sharing. Frustrated is definitely a good word name these days. I too am frustrated, but also excited by the new learning we are all doing. I am definitely feeling frustrated by how to support all our students without the internet and devices. Collectively, I know we will figure out solutions.

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