Day 4 Teaching in the Time of Covid

The Good:

  • Today felt almost normal. I cannot minimize the amount of prep and planning that teachers did for that to happen. AND ESPECIALLY my school admin and district admin. There is NO WAY it would feel “normal-ish” on day 4 in this Covidlandia without all the protocols we have in place. The kids and the adults are adjusting fast.
  • Look at all those anchor charts! We’re learning a lot. Math is in the afternoon, in the last hour and 15 minutes of the day this year, so I am adjusting to that. Math in the afternoon is NOT easy, but #jenforthewin is going to make it work.
  • We had music today, 5 minutes after lunch/recess. I told them “you will NOT have your water bottle out or ask to go to the bathroom in music! You see your music teacher only once a week! Go now! Drink water now!” It managed to work this first time. We’ll see.
  • The students know with about 70% proficiency these new terms/vocabulary words: operations, column, row, vertical, horizontal, diagonal, stamina, narrative, and the difference between fiction/non-fiction.
  • Much less mask reminders today. The students that push it are those with personalities that would push it.
  • The parents of my students are as tattooed as me. This is very reassuring. They are 15-20 years younger, but it’s still nice to feel like we’re peers. Ok, fine. I will always feel like other parents are my peers. But I guess what I’m saying is…I like parents. I always have liked parents. I never feel threatened by parents of students, and I never did. They are humans learning to be human just like I am. Sure, I’ve had my moments where I’ve struggled with a parent or 17…we all have. But for the most part I really love parents and seeing them love all over their kids. The ones I’ve met at pick up, or have messaged me, are SO FLIPPING GRATEFUL to have their children in school learning. They are ALWAYS SMILING. This is a very good thing.
  • My students are getting more and more comfortable with Google Classroom. It is supposed to be something I teach them later in the year and transition over from SeeSaw from their primary experience. 3rd grade is so wacky. It’s the year that they’re considered “grown up kids” and they do state testing and have to learn a lot of skills that are going to be the “for the rest of your life” skills. They’re figuring it out. It’s hard and not very VISUAL, but they are getting it. I wish GC would have more visual icons teachers could use, but…not my job. I am going to switch my classroom from subjects to weeks. So I’m going to switch from having a “writing,” “math,” or “reading” tab to having “Week of 8/24-8/28.” That way they know everything they need to get done that week is in that folder. So. We shall see how that goes.
  • My students are just plain cute. That’s it. I’m in love again. It doesn’t take me more than a few days, but here we are. I have a HUGE INSANE HEART and I had to teach in person so I could love all over another group of children. No, I can’t touch them (sometimes I forget and have to sanitize) but we are pretty tight-knit already.
  • They love my masks more than other masks. It’s super adorable.

The Hard:

  • My love and I can’t see each other as much as we would like because I’m basically a “super vector” (I just made up this term) and his boys are doing online school this year. The boys, their mom, his parents, and Jess himself, are all very limited in their exposure to others. So I’m the vector. SO. Based on HIPPA and FERPA I cannot say anything more than that. I can simply say he and I may end up having long periods of time where we can’t see each other. And that SUCKS. He’s my person. And his hugs are the ones you just melt into. So. I’m sad. And I miss him. But we can call. And if we get super impatient, we can have a car drive by visit. But not being able to touch your boyfriend in person is torture, so phone calls might be the best choice.
  • One week teaching in Covid=one month in a regular year level of exhaustion.
  • I’m so tired I’m about tapped.
  • EDIT: Parents, your child cannot use a paper mask. They are destroyed within the first hour of school. If I hadn’t been making so many to give away I would have had mask-less kids. Parents, send extras. Teachers, buy/make/get extras. CLOTH ones. Trust me. They break easily.

The Reflection:

  • Some of the things I am experiencing make me really consider teaching in the 360. Why do we “do” some of the things we “have always done?”
  • The new things we are doing or the old things we are not doing aren’t inherently “bad.”
  • The INGENUITY AND CREATIVITY is really stunning. There are some amazing amazing amazing things happening that no one will realize or say or share, because they’re just things teachers decide in a split second. That’s something the general public doesn’t understand. Teachers have to make thousands of decisions a day, and in Covidlandia it has just increased exponentially.
  • I’m so glad I’m where I am in my life development. I’m so glad I’ve done the work I’ve done on myself in the last few years, or this shitstorm would probably send me down the river.

We can do hard things.


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