Wildcard Wednesday: Day 12/180

The Good:

I wore the shirt my mom and nephews made me for my birthday to school and it kept me toasty warm. I was freezing cold today.

I had a yummy yogurt in my lunch. (Oui brand, I love that they are in glass!)

My class thought my birthday box was funny. I saved getting to see what was in it for demonstration of 100% on task class behavior. Somehow…getting to see inside my box and a box reveal made them work harder. 😉

I woke up before my alarm and was on time to work. I have been on time 10/12 days. The late days were like 3-5 minutes late. THAT IS AMAZING FOR ME. I am a struggle bus at being on time, but 2020 has helped me reshape that identity. I am really liking how that feels.

My class can do Daily 5 with 4 choices for 16 minutes! I had 6 1:1 conferences today with my students to do running records (how many correct words per minute can they read). THAT IS MIRACULOUS. I wish I could remember how long it took other years to get to that. I’m so proud.

The really Hard:

I am getting zits around my mouth from masking.

Having students in desks (it’s been about 8 years since I used desks) is such a catch-22. They have somewhere to put their stuff. But then while you are talking they are touching everything inside their desks, cutting, poking, drawing…all the time. They are masters at “attention deception.” They just need to check out, man. I mean, there is a rare teacher on this planet that doesn’t get that more than me, a human that has struggled and then thrived with ADHD my whole life. Whether they have ADHD or not, I get the struggle to attend to a lesson. I’m also very smart and boring lessons are SUPER BORING. So trust me, I try to be as engaging as possible. SO. That basically means I cannot just teach straight from the book, um, like, ever.

I think I just decided they can’t keep their scissors in their desk anymore. But I truly hate that. Part of me just wants to ignore a lot of the stuff that in a non-Covid year I would not let go.

Because here’s what’s happening…being diligent at physical distancing and masking has gotten harder. The initial ‘BE SAFE. WEAR YOUR MASK! STAY 6’ AWAY FROM OTHERS!!” has gotten less urgent to the kids. The teachers are having to constantly police them. And by constantly, I mean like every couple of minutes. It doesn’t matter that I’m sending only 4 kids to get their computers at a time…they will somehow congregate and not distance themselves.

I put blue tape X marks on the floor today. Suddenly it worked and they could do it.

-Insert hand smack to the forehead emoji-

I do NOT like telling kids not to be near each other. I do NOT like telling them not to walk by their friends’ desk because I ask them to walk in their row only, not cut through. I do NOT like having to be the physical distancing police. I do NOT like what this might mean for the social emotional development of our young children. I DO NOT LIKE IT.

It’s ok that I do not like it. I’m not a mindless Sam I Am. It’s ok to be mad about this, and wish it were different.

The Reflection:

I have only relaxed a minor bit since school started. I decided that it’s ok for me to be close to students within 1′ if I am doing 1:1 instruction. It is really important to have time with them. WHAT am I EVEN DOING AS A TEACHER IN PERSON if I can’t talk to them privately, up close, doing personal individualized instruction? Of course we’re wearing masks. Of COURSE I sanitize before and after. Washing hands is done, but so impractical to do as often as I have to sanitize that it would make interactions impossible.

I’m so frustrated, yet my class is really surprising me. It’s remarkable how capable they are after 20 weeks of being out of school for dealing with school.

So honestly, I don’t want to outlaw scissors in their desks and make them keep them in their cubbies. I’d rather teach them the expectations and just give them a chance to figure it out. The only discipline is a reminder. I just say “put it away,” or walk over and talk to them and ask them to put it away, OR if it is so nonstop they never look at me…I confiscate it for the lesson. There’s nothing unusual about this process, all teachers do this.

I did a lesson on what they are expected to do when they get to school today. The tardy bell rings at 8:20, and kids can start coming as early as 7:45 for breakfast. Due to Covid, the 7:45-8:00 time is my supervision. Basically, they may end up in my room for 35 minutes before lessons start. And then still some of them have the gaul to ask me for the toilet, to sharpen a pencil, fill a water bottle, book shop, etc. It was making me nuts. So we worked on that today, and I said I was going to start being strict about it.

Let’s see how that goes. I mean as you can see, even I have jobs.


There is plenty to do.

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