Day 3 Teaching in the time of Covid

The Good:

  • I have gotten to school 3 days in a row early. Now that I say this I will most likely be cursed by the time lords, but I’m proud nonetheless.
  • Less masking reminders to the studentlings.
  • My students made 7 minutes of stamina in Read to Self and 6 minutes of stamina in Word Work today. ON THE FIRST DAY! It was astonishing.
  • I have a 3 oz. hand pump with witch hazel, aloe gel, thieves oil. I spray this on them when leaving the room for a special or returning to the room after recess. It is a 100% lifesaver.
  • I got a whole pack of these pumps on Amazon and made hand sanitizer spray for the kids. Theirs is rubbing alcohol and essential oils. I didn’t have enough witch hazel to do theirs. I need to find some in bulk. This is not to replace hand washing, but we LITERALLY HAVE TO SPRAY/SANITIZE/WASH EVERY FEW SECONDS/MINUTES so it is 100% impossible to hand wash every time. It makes me tired just thinking about it. Spraying is easier than pumping.
  • I sent an invite to every family on the Remind app for class communication. High five, Jen.
  • All kids logged in to Google Classroom and did work today. I am doing the same things at school that I would do at home as much as possible. I want to be prepared for ANYTHING.
  • The kids love their handmade masks I made. Several parents have asked where I shop for supplies or how much money they can pay me to supply them with masks. LOL! I said the masks will always be free, but I suggested if they want to support the cause, a Joann’s giftcard would be helpful.
  • I’m getting the hang of Google Classroom! We used SeeSaw last year, but it is all akimbo, so I haven’t used it with my class this year. GC is very easy for me…but it is not as visual and the font is small. So I KNOW it is hard for my class. They are great sports.
  • I sent parents an email with just the crucial stuff. I don’t want to inundate them with information right now. I can’t even imagine how hard it would be on me if I were parenting and teaching right now. God Bless every one of you that is, I ache for you with how hard that must be. I just had to go home to my idiot animals, featuring Mulder the aggressively attached to me cat.
  • No one talked politics today. Phew.
  • I got a package in the mail from my loved ones. What a wonderful surprise!

The Hard:

  • My face feels like the whole bottom of it is attached with tape. It’s like I’ve had a suction cup attached to me all day, and now it’s off. It SUCKS. But it is what it is. It makes me feel very safe and secure that everyone is being so cautious. We take mask breaks, but for minutes only, and then back on with it.
  • A lot of stamina building for being in a school again. We did our anchor chart for a little bit of Work on Writing…but a lot of kids were putting heads down on desks, checking out, fiddling, fidgeting, messing around…so I called it. I didn’t want to do a practice where it would just suck. So we started our Social Emotional Learning lesson (SEL) early, and got out our computers to do so. (that went well)
  • Desks. Oh my lord desks, now I remember why you make me insane. You are so convenient for the children knowing where their gear is, but you are very annoying for students to be able to create one.thousand.five.hundred.and.twenty. three.little.tiny.pieces.of.paper.they.are.cutting.up.and.writing.on.and.coloring.and.folding.and.ignoring.the.lesson. I had a few chats today about “I don’t want to have to turn your desk around so you have to get up and get your things, but if it keeps being a problem…that is one of the solutions I have for the problem. Do YOU have a solution?” No, Ms. Fogerty, they don’t have solutions. They haven’t gone to school in TWENTY WEEKS. This is not your average first week of school.
  • I move around, talk faster, get animated while I teach. This makes me a little winded. Having a mask on makes me start to lose my breath. SO. There’s a lot of pausing, and telling them I need a second, pulling my mask away from my face while still keeping my face covered, spraying my hands again with sanitizer and moving on. It’s ridiculous. But I’m getting used to it.

The Reflection:

Wow. Teaching is hard. It is multi-faceted. HOWEVER, there’s no way you can prepare for how this particular year is going to hit you. But trust me, if you do a LOT of ANYTHING, please make that be on safety procedures. We hammered that one so hard that it almost is starting to feel normal. PEOPLE SOMETHING FEELS NORMAL! And oddly, it’s the increased safety stuff. Ok, maybe it’s not feeling normal, just feeling routine. Whatever it is, I’m glad. It’s only 3 days in and I’m way calmer. Writing it down helps me feel free to do my life after, so this is my self-care.

The level of “we can just roll with it” as educators has increased significantly. We are adapting and learning and becoming something completely different. I feel it in the students, too. We are learning new teaching methods and the children are becoming proficient in digital tools quickly, because at my grade level, they’ve had to do remote learning already. They have, perhaps, an increased urgency to “get it.” There is WAY MORE PATIENCE than you might expect from young children, in terms of just being humans among other humans. Especially given that we have #NOTBEENINSCHOOLFORTWENTYWEEKS. One of my students makes sounds, and another student has asked them to stop, but not angrily or bossy, just “could you please stop, that is bothering me.” They seem to have the language and the skills to figure things out. I don’t have to intervene as much as I have in the past. Sure, there are only 16 in the room, and I’m sure that’s a factor. Thank God for that! They are for sure a sensitive bunch, very chatty and intense, but they are also exceptionally smart and very inquisitive.

Maybe the dragon generation is growing up.


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