Teaching in the time of Covid, Day 2

The Good:

  • Students came with masks on.
  • They knew how to start the day, unlike yesterday which was a cluster.
  • I had cute hair, even though it gets messed up by my mask.
  • I wore a vest that had a lot of pockets to hold my sanitizer, pens, kleenex, post its. It was very handy. I may start to wear my gardening waist apron with pockets this year.
  • The kids have learned my attention signal where I say “PAX HANDS!” or I put up the peace sign and ring chimes. We are at attention in less than 5 seconds.
  • They got to 5 minutes of stamina in Daily 5 Read to Self. Tomorrow I’m teaching them Word Work and Work on Writing.
  • I posted a Google Classroom assignment and they ALL DID IT. That means they had to log in and get there. This was a HUGE FEAT. We should have been done for that day with that good news.

The Hard:

  • Wearing a mask for 8 hours is very moist. One feels like they have a mask on for hours after the day is over. I told my students to get into the habit of going home, washing their mask in the sink with a little drop of soap, hanging it to dry, and then washing their faces. I said, “otherwise, we might all end up getting zits around our mouths and noses, and that won’t be very comfortable.” LORD HAVE MERCY.
  • I do not drink enough water, and neither do my students. It’s hard.
  • My students are kind of nervous to ask to go to the bathroom. Tomorrow I will let them know that it’s ok to go…any time. I just can’t send more than one of them at a time. YIKES. I’m not going to be militant about bathroom breaks this year.
  • A few of the students started talking about politics today, and I could feel myself physically react. I don’t have the emotional energy or brain space to deal with them talking about their favorite conservative presidents and repeating things their parents have said. I simply said, “let’s focus on snack.” It was incredibly hard, and not something I anticipated.
  • I think that due to the 5 months we were away from school we all forgot how to do some things. It’s the same length as being gone for two summers. Remember a normal back to school where you have to help the students build stamina (for everything) again? Yeah, this is harder. They put their heads on the desk, stare blankly, ask to go to the bathroom, or just plain zone out a lot more. In fact, they are just staring at me…and asking when it’s lunch.
  • They want to learn new things but they are so flat exhausted by 90 minutes into the day (SO AM I) that it feels like we do a whole week in one day.

The Reflection:

  • We did Go Math today and 14/16 kids I rated as proficient in their work on addition. THAT’S AMAZING. They need more things that feel academic. This is no different than any other year. Kids get super bored with procedure, procedure, procedure, and ask for some learning time.
  • On my Google Classroom assignment many (a full 1/3) of the class wants to know more about history. History? That’s how they wrote it. History has never been an assignment in school, it’s always called social studies at school. I’m excited about this.
  • One precious student wants to learn “about Ruby Bridges,” and I about cried. That’s what they want to learn about. Ruby Bridges. I will make this happen, little one. It was on my plans for next week already!!!
  • I love being back at school. The routine, the thinking. I am such a teacher, and I teach best when I can interact in a live classroom. This is why I did NOT choose to go to remote teaching.

This is hard. But we can do it.

Last year at this time, this is what I was doing.

Teaching during the time of Covid is MUCH EASIER.


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