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“I just really feel as though humans were meant to be together.”

 

“I think after having gone through this last year with quarantining, social injustice, and a divisive election, what we're missing the most is connection.

 

There are so many things we do in life to supplement connection…like social media, for example…We're still lacking in opportunities to cultivate authentic relationships. 

 

I deleted my Facebook around June of 2020…and I often reflect back on how many connections I lost. Friendships that I thought had solid foundations, simply because I wasn't on that social media platform anymore.

 

In some ways, I’m thankful…because getting rid of [Facebook] created opportunities for authentic connection with people. I had a close group of girlfriends who were able to get even closer…whether it was during our virtual happy hours or virtual book club meetings…we were able to expose our humanity while being in quarantine and feeling awful. We were all public educators…navigating the system, while being there for our kids, and trying to understand what was happening in the world [simultaneously].

 

As a full-time educator, I can see how loss of authentic connection has had the biggest impact on our students who are just trying to learn how to be who they are in the world. There is a lot of divisiveness….in the media and societal issues. It's super important that students know that there's a caring, trusting adult in their life to help find their voice. We must assist the youth in cultivating connections that aren’t superficial but are authentic.

 

I think any good teacher would say that relationships would come first and foremost before content…I have 50 minutes to cover content and build relationships with my students.  I think that we, as educators, need to continue to try and find opportunities to leverage the content in order to build those relationships with kids…I remember my first teaching job, the kids were so shocked that I was able to make pop culture references. 

 

They have to trust you to be able to learn from you.” 

– Georgina Mayorga-Schneider