Love Better: Connecting Again in Hard Times

Sanam EdwardsBlog, Connect Better, Reflect Better, Teach Happier


  • While some teachers were excited to be back at school, others loved working from home.
  • A lot of negativity was hidden when people didn’t have to interact with one another in person daily.
  • How do you react to negative experiences at your school?
  • Connect to students and staff members, practice patience, and love better.

Back to School

After being online for so long, I was delighted to be back on campus. I had been dreaming of this for two years. It was like a breath of fresh air to hear children laughing again in the corridors. My spirit soared as I tended to my classroom and went about school life once more.

However, my social media was plagued with articles on teacher burnout. I couldn’t fathom why teachers were unhappy after years of being cooped up at home in the hybrid model. It wasn’t until I was well immersed in life at school that my cheerful façade began chipping away.

Once we learn to love better, we can eventually learn to live better. Click To Tweet

Things I Couldn’t Unsee

I soon began to see things in the halls that I didn’t like. Students I adored online and thought of as upstanding young children were bullying others when out of sight. I heard unsavory language yelled in the corridors. The flouting of Covid rules sent me into inner turmoil, fearing for my students’ safety. Children, after all, were being children. Yet, somewhere along the line, it was me who had changed. 

I began to see the telltale signs of internal politics running rife in the workplace. I felt like the virtual world had shielded me from unpleasantness. Students never spoke out of turn and my trusty mute button regulated classrooms superbly. Colleagues gossiped quietly without the target of their discussions ever knowing about it. But now, all was plain to see. Management was harsh and stressed. Teachers were underappreciated and pushed each other to negativity. Students who had no social interactions were out of control. There I was, stuck in the middle in situations I had not foreseen.

Love and Patience

Upon further reflection, I understood that it was love and patience that everyone was lacking. We had all been through tough times, and we were as unprimed as our students to deal with challenging situations. I had to begin connecting with my students again at a deeper level. We had to accept the good with the bad. Working together over time, we could see eye to eye and understand each other’s expectations. Perhaps it could be a comfortable and trusting relationship, where we could reach out to each other at any time because of what we had been through together.

As for other adults, I needed to remember that it takes all sorts to make the world go around. I was so unused to slander, gossip, and politics that I was personally affronted whenever I heard an instance of something brewing. It took a while for me to understand that it wasn’t personal, and people will always need to vent in different ways. However, my reaction to all situations was within my control.

Love Better

My reactions to people and situations could either be based on resentment or love. So I needed to train myself to love better, to support people as best I could despite flaws. I needed to be the best version of myself so that it wouldn’t seem like such an effort one day. And just maybe, I would see it mirrored in others too.

Loving better takes patience and being whole on the inside. I undoubtedly wasn’t whole after the experiences I had gone through during the pandemic. However, I realized that it takes the will to try harder to love better. We’ve forgotten the best version of ourselves, and we’ve lost the skill of seeing the best in others. We also need to be able to laugh again. One of my students stuffed a French fry up his nose and then grimly ate it. My first instinct was that of a righteous explosion. It took me a second to burst into laughter, pat the kid on his back, and remind him to use the ketchup instead of his snot for flavour. After that, we all had a good chuckle and moved on with our day with a positive attitude.

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Back to Optimism

Every day takes me closer to despair and then back to optimism. Although, I can say that training myself to love better has enabled me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not an excuse for the behavior of others, and I understand why burnout is on the rise. I think humanity is suffering, struggling to recover from the last two years’ events. My journey towards loving better has given me the firm belief that we can make it through together. Let us be beacons of light to those lost and pillars of patience to those under pressure. Once we learn to love better, we can eventually learn to live better.

About Sanam Edwards

Sanam Edwards is a teacher in Gurgaon (India). She enjoys building the student’s voice and choice within the classroom environment while infusing her quirky sense of humour into daily activities. She’s an advocate for technology in the classroom and is constantly on the lookout for new ways to engage the students mentally and emotionally. She regularly blogs about her forays in the education sector at