This is PART 1 ONE! Ok parents & teachers, tons of kids are now failing within the context of this, particularly crazy Spring Fever. They are, getting so “behind”, anxiety is rising, engagement is falling, too many hoops to jump through for some kids to “succeed”. Go, take action. Wishing you peace of mind, joy, and connection.
This is PART 2.
🎦 YouTube: Visit my official YouTube channel here. Subscribe, like & comment to support my work.
👉 Share: To support me, please *CLICK* at the bottom to share on FB or Pinterest.
✏️ EF101: Here’s my jumpstart course for parents and teachers.
💚 Give: Love my work and want to donate?
🙏 Thanks! — Seth
(Part 1) Video Transcript: Click here to download the transcript PDF.
What is up parents and teachers? By the end of this video, parents and teachers, you are going to understand why this year is the worst spring fever ever. You know, it’s March-April 2021, it’s been a bizarre year, a challenging year, just a lot of misinformation, a lot of confusion and a lot of conspiracy theories. A lot of people are telling me their perceptions of certain things that are going on in the world and their theories about stuff, and all of this stuff. It’s just been a really bizarre year but I will say this is the worst spring fever ever. Let me tell you what spring fever is parents and teachers, I know you know what it is but spring fever happens every year. In fact you might look on my YouTube channel and search for the word ‘spring fever’ and you’ll probably find a couple of older spring fever videos. It’d be interesting to see how those compared to this one. But spring fever happens every year, and in this video I’m specifically referring to not the middle of the bell curve kids but kids who struggle with executive function, who struggle to get things done, who always have missings and late work and zeroes and always catching up and all this stuff. For them this is the worst spring fever ever, and yes there are some kids who are quote ‘thriving’ who normally struggle for some reason this is working for them. Yes I’ve heard that, it’s not uncommon for me to hear that but that is not the majority. And yes, even though I may sound snarky about teachers or the system or whatever, I love teachers and I appreciate teachers. The vast, vast majority of teachers are heart-centered, dedicated, and working their butts off to do what’s right by kids.
So having said all that, spring fever happens every spring. What happens is that we’re done. Teachers are done, parents are done, kids are done. We’re sick of school. What’s happened is we’ve had fall semester, we’ve gone through that, we’ve had a clean slate for spring semester, and then we’re going through spring semester. Then around spring break every year the weather gets nice, everybody is just so excited to get outside, they have new energy. Everybody just wants to be jumping. You know, we’ve just spent winter, I know some of you may be in more warmer climates but we’ve just had winter and we’re coming into spring. Everybody’s gotten renewed energy and is ready just to go out there and use that energy and do fun stuff. Summer break can’t come soon enough for anybody. I mean teachers are sick of it they’re just like burnt out, kids are burnt out, parents are burnt out, everybody is done. Everybody’s ready. It’s a much needed break. Well that’s cool, except that the expectations have not changed for spring fever. Meaning that our kids still need to get their work done and be compliant and conform and do what they’re told and jump through the hoops. You know that yes, I value education, yes there are great things about education, but the workload continues to be heavy. They have current work, so let’s say spring breaks over for you. They still have their regular current work. If they’re one of my kids who struggle with executive function, they still have their late work, missing work, zeros, incompletes, and that stuff. You know, the stuff that they’re ‘behind’ on, whatever that means. But the stuff that they’re behind on, need to catch up on. Then they also have what I call PEPR, P-E-P-R, which means they’re at the end of the semester and you have final papers or essays, we have final exams, you have final projects, and large reading assignments. So they did that in fall semester as well, you have PEPR at the end of each semester. But for the last three weeks of a semester here in spring fever time, we still have PEPR. The energy for doing their current work, their makeup work, and their finals stuff, the energy is depleted. People are burnt out, they’re done.
If you watched my video from last week it was super ranty and I don’t usually do them like that, but I think is really important right now because people are suffering a lot, suffering. Our kids are suffering. This spring fever is unlike any I’ve ever seen. The burnout is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The intensity, and when I say intensity, what I mean is the depth of emotion, of frustration, of resistance, of helplessness for kids who just feel like, “How am i going to ever catch up? And if I do get caught up, is it even worth it? Am I going to pass if I put all of this energy into getting caught up?” and all of this stuff. Like, is it worth it for them to put all this energy and they’re so tired? They’re socially depleted. Our social lives and social structures have fallen apart, our kids are craving real social connection. Our fear is tapped out, we all have different ideas about what’s going on. But everybody is frustrated and has some level of fear about something. And we’re just like, exhausted from that. What do they call it? COVID fatigue. We’re tired everybody, we’re tired. And I want to make this video because I want you to know just my thoughts about it so that you can feel like you feel more empowered to support the kids. When these kids are getting behind, it produces a lot of anxiety during a normal spring fever. And the anxiety is more intense this year. If they’re not anxious, and they often are, maybe they’re just ignoring it and putting their head in the sand, pretending it doesn’t exist, which a lot of my kids do. But their lack of engagement is worse. So they’re even less engaged than they normally would be because they’re, you know, all the burnout and everything that I just mentioned. There are too many hoops for them to jump through to realistically get caught up for their executive function for a lot of these kids. So that doesn’t just mean getting caught up, but it also means the time required to check portals and figure out what’s going on. All teachers post their expectations differently on different days, their grades on different days, parents aren’t clear on what’s going on. Like it’s really, really hard.
At this point, I want to mention a very important quote or saying, and I don’t I don’t know who to attribute it to, I found different people. But essentially, the gist of this quote is this, “Not everything that is measured matters. And not everything that matters is measured.” So we have a system where we’re measuring certain things, and we typically measure them with data points, called grades or test scores. Those grades, we happen to have chosen the letters A, B, C, D, and F. F means fail. So any of the kids that fail are failing within the context of the way that this system has decided to measure the metrics and say what metrics matter. And okay, so but not everything that matters is measured. So I want to really encourage you, parents and teachers, to really take a step back and look at what matters. When kids are compliant, the data looks good. And we infer certain meanings from that, like they’re getting a good education, they’re going to be okay in life. Well, we need to really look at, do we really believe that? Now again, I love teachers, teachers are amazing. Teachers are working so hard and there’s so much value in education. But when these kids are burnt out like this, and we continue to have the system the same… (cont’d in part 2)
(Part 2) Video Transcript: Click here to download the transcript PDF.
This is part two of the Worst Spring Break Ever, or the Worst Spring Fever Ever, because my video just stopped. I’m not going to re-record the entire video, so here’s part two. So not everything that matters is measured, and what do we want to measure or value? Okay, so that’s what I really want to leave you, parents and teachers, with is this: slow down, stop, pull out a piece of paper, write down what’s important to you, for your kid or your students. In a year, how important is that going to be? Hopefully, it’s going to be important because the things that are not important now are not going to be important in a year. So a lot of times the things we’re measuring in a year in five years, in 10 years are not going to be that important. In a year from now, so it’s the end of March 2021, we’re probably going to be into a new normal. But we probably will be back to a lot of normalcy. In five years, we certainly will be, and in 10, 15, 20 years, unless there’s another pandemic, we certainly will be.
So in a year, in five years, in 10 years, in 20 years, what do we want for these kids? What’s the long game here? And what are we doing now? And what is that doing to that long game? So, what is important to us? Some of the things that are important to me for kids is their mental health, their physical health, how’s their physical health going to be in a year? Five years? 10 years? 20 years? 30 years? How are their relationships in 20 and 30 years with family members with friendships? Do they have solid people in their life with their spouses? If they have spouses with their kids, if they have kids? How’s the quality of those? Are we planting seeds for that right now? How about their career? How about their finances? So right now, we get very concerned at the spring fever time with kids who are falling behind. And we want to get them caught up. I mean, that’s great. We want to get them caught up, we want to have a good life. So we’re inferring that getting caught up is going to help equate to these things. And in some ways it may, doors may be open or closed and blah, blah. But if you are a parent or teacher and you’re trying to get a kid caught up, my question to you is this one question. This is what I want you to write down in that piece of paper too: At what cost? If you get them caught up in all their classes, you put all this pressure on them. What’s the cost to your relationship with them? How they feel about you? How safe and secure they feel with you? What’s the cost in terms of their motivation and buy-in for school? And their ownership for school? What’s the cost in all sorts of, their physical health, their mental health in the future and things like that. At what cost are we getting them caught up if they’re falling behind?
I’m not saying don’t try. I’m certainly not saying don’t try to get them caught up. I’m saying question what you’re trying to get them caught up on, how you’re trying to get them caught up, what you’re trying to do to do that, what kind of pressure they’re experiencing in getting caught up, and what’s the cost of all that. Pick your battles. So spring fever is here, pick your battles wisely. Advocate fiercely, parents. Advocate fiercely, teachers. The system has not empowered you teachers to say, “Ugh, this is crazy.” Go ahead and make the adaptations that your kids need, know the system still puts the pressure on you to cover your standards and your curriculum and your common core, and blah blah blah the same way. Does that make sense? Absolutely not. Connect with like-minded people, like-minded families, like-minded teachers and advocate. Anyhow, that’s all I have for today. Go take some action today. Go make a list. Go connect with people. Go do some writing. Go connect with your kid, go laugh with your kid, go play with your kid, go have fun with your kid, go help them work on their life with them in whatever ways that means. I want to wish you joy, peace of mind, and connection today. My name is Seth Perler. If you haven’t subscribed on YouTube or right here, subscribe, you can leave a comment. What do you think? What advice do you have for people about this? What are some of your thoughts around this? What do we need to know, what did I leave out here? Share it with us. Give it a thumbs up if you want, it helps the almighty algorithm. Sorry, I’m a bit tech burnt out. Oh, and go get into some nature today. Be well.