Day Eight of Covid Teaching and Human-ing

The Good:

My students made 12 minutes of of Read to Self stamina today. We learned more about government and I taught them the 3 branches of government. They can explain why Ruby Bridges’s story is such a big deal, and say who the Little Rock Nine were. We built such great stamina in Daily 5 that I chose to let the last round be free choice of Word Work, Read to Self or Work on Writing. THEY WERE SO STOKED it was adorable. I got my PAX kit today and the kids like the harmonica. I think pulling my mask down for less than 5 seconds and blowing it isn’t a big deal. My students are doing a great job.

I have been able to see my Jess this week after over a week of not seeing him. I would be a lousy military partner. My co-worker’s husband was deployed overseas for a year. They have 3 kids. I would so struggle. He’s just a spectacularly lovely human. He’s real, and we’re real together.

I have managed to make it to September without an empty bank account. It’s thin, surely, but not empty. This is new news for me, and while I have plenty of money lessons to still learn, I’m proud of that. I think I need to just save at least a paycheck for summer activities and such, more if I plan to travel…even if just to drive to Oregon or California. I did take a lot of money out of retirement to pay off my extra house stuff, and that did make my life easier and I didn’t incur much new debt. BUT. I did purchase a new refrigerator this summer, plants, and lumber materials for the raised beds. I’m excited to budget my paychecks more carefully this year and make some choices for my money self-care. I decided long ago to treat my money like the most amazing boyfriend/girlfriend or partner I could ever have. I try to put all kinds of love and sexiness into my money…sometimes I’m successful. It can be super stressful to be my only source of income…and super liberating. I try to swing toward the liberating as much as possible.

The Hard:

It is smoky outside like someone lit a giant bonfire 5′ away from my house. It stings the eyes. Inside my house smells like smoke. It looks like it’s raining outside, but it’s just the overcast skies. The entire western part of this country is on fire, including many here in Montana, and the earth is just weeping. My heart hurts about that. Unfortunately the forecast until Monday (my birthday) is heat. (And then on Monday…it rains. LOL. I’ll take it!)

I really LIKE some things about having so many precautions in the school environment, but some are just so.damn.hard. Like…kids on a playground. Of course they want to play. Playing usually involves touching. It bums me out. We decided today that they have to wear their masks on the structure, while also maintaining 3′-6′ of distance. It is an exercise in folly, but I fear that if we don’t maintain the vigilance we are maintaining we’ll end up just increasing Covid cases in our county, and then we’re stuck with remote learning.

All the Tech is a MESS. The technology department…GOD BLESS THEM…is experiencing a technology dumpster fire.

ok…everything is on fire…we knew this already…ok…back to the blog…

So the poor teaching partners of ours that are teaching remote this year are just stuck in the shittiest of shitters. Their platforms K-3 are not working right because the systems they use are tied to a hub that is completely messed up right now, and won’t synch with the database of student names. I have no idea what their day is expected to be like, only those that are doing it know. But, I do know that if my students couldn’t see their work on the place they go to see the work…it would be a mess. My whole day would be tech and being the tech support for kids that don’t know how to use a computer or tablet.

Listen. Are you listening?



This is the biggest misconception that people have that don’t work with kids. If your kid has not used a laptop or tablet to do work on a regular basis, they don’t know how to do it.

So, PLEASE, I beg of you, if you have kids, remote or in person learning, please help with their computer tech understanding at home. Help them learn how to get into their email if they are 2nd-6th graders. Help them learn how to open.Google. (yes, I had 1/2 of my class not knowing what Google even was.)

Help them learn keyboard shortcuts. Help them understand how to toggle back and forth between tabs on a browser. Help them learn how to take a photo of their work, upload documents, download documents. Help them learn how to go to Google Drive and open a Google Doc. Show them the refresh button on the browser. Help them learn a set of things to try if their computer goes haywire and they can’ Help them learn about the pop-up blocker and cookies blocker. Sure, their teachers will teach this, but if the teacher is doing this over the phone it will TAKE HOURS. I had a kid that had a weird setting blocking Google on their computer. I have no idea how I would have solved that problem remote teaching. Probably they would have had to take their computer to the school and get a new one. (!) (I deserve props for that one…and I wish I could remember my sequence of steps so there was a procedure I could share.)

My teaching partner and I were giving ourselves big strokes today for the level of patience it takes to be tech support in a classroom with

What happened to “if you don’t know, just click on it?” WOW.

The Reflection:

I want to believe in a world where Covid doesn’t exist, but that’s really hard right now. I feel firmly in a dystopian nightmare. I spend all day teaching in this very restrictive way, and then dream about it at night.

TRIGGER WARNING: Death/infant death dream retell below

Last night I dreamed about dying babies. In the dream a friend had a baby that had SIDS, but then rejuvenated, but then died anyway. It was horrible. It was like the kitten I found in the barn as a child, rehabilitated, and then it got rigor mortis while still having a heart beat.

Traumatic, basically.

In the dream suddenly there were many babies, I think there were 13 of them, and I was burying them in a mass grave. They were wrapped up in lunch sacks and buried in the same grave site.

I have no idea what is going on with my emotions or brain, but this one really hit me hard. All day I kept thinking about these lunch bags with dead babies in them. When I woke up around 3 am from this dream I looked it up online. Apparently dreaming of dying babies means a rebirth and major upheaval in the emotional state. I mean. I would much rather see houses burning down than seeing my friends crying and burying their babies. It wasn’t any friends that currently even have babies, FYI, and it was super random.

So. Yeah. I guess my reflection today is reiterating how stressful life is right now. I spend 8 hours a day with a mask on, I’m now getting zits under my skin on the corners of my mouth, and I had a major body stress ache after school today. I have learned that when I teach I get excited…and then I get out of breath. It’s hard to catch my breath and continue teaching when I feel like I am out of breath.

Just. It’s all hard, and it’s all good. I love seeing my students again. I hate having to be so restrictive with student contact. But I do not want to die, or any of my students to get this. So. This is how it is.


PS: Yes, my cat Mulder is sort of comic relief. He aggressively loves me now that I’m not at his beck and call, and it is mostly irritating. He struggles with just doing the shoulder love thing, which I prefer, and is less intrusive. He mostly wants to 100% cover my body in his hair and his love, and I’m not into the same kinks.

Pray for us. 😉

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