It has been NINE weeks😳 since I first started to understand that life was about to shift. The news of this faraway virus wasn’t so abstract anymore. We started to hear things at the beginning of that week in early March. Rumblings that changes were probably coming. 😦Postponed meetings. Rumors of an extended Spring Break. Events canceled.😞
I decided to bring my school 💻computer home when I walked out of the building for our Spring Break. Because I have a personal computer at home, I typically leave my school-issued computer on my desk along with 📑lesson plans and 📚supplies for the next day of class. It was a good choice to bring it home because I’ve really needed it. I haven’t been back to my classroom since I left on that day- nine weeks ago!
My classroom must look a bit like a time capsule at this point. Those lessons will not be taught this year. Worksheets and 📚literature books won’t be used. The colorful pens are just waiting in my desk drawers next to the pieces of 🍬candy that I pass out to students for great attitudes or excellent effort.
I’ve been a little 😬frustrated about my life as an online educator. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s the same as being with them in a classroom. It’s not. Sure- some kids continue to connect with me. 😍There are others that I haven’t heard from once since this whole thing started.😢
I don’t really feel like a teacher right now.😞 I’m doing the work that I’m supposed to do- virtual lessons, videos, emails. Those aren’t the reasons I went into teaching, though. For me, it’s always been about the kids.💖 Without students in front of me every day, there are no inside jokes that only the kids in 6th hour understand. No 😂laughter and chatter as they walk in my door. No hands in the air to answer the next question. No messy 📝papers to grade. No brilliant writings to edit. No 📚reading aloud. No watching the magic on their faces when they finally “get” a new concept. No original drawings to tape on my desk. Very few completed assignments. Just a bit of virtual💖 love. It’s not the same, and it sucks.😢
It seems like a ⏳lifetime has passed since I walked out of school that day. So much has changed. So many discoveries. Lessons aren’t always learned in the classroom. I’ve learned a few during these weeks.
- I have more patience than I thought I had. Maybe I have just developed more patience. Either way- it’s necessary, and I’m glad that I recognize that. Without patience, this quarantine would be a lot more complicated.💯
- I’ve always been into the practice of gratitude. 🙌I’m grateful on a whole new level now. 💖Family and friends. Our 🏠home. Health. FaceTime. Puzzles. Extra 🚽toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Sunshine. Restaurants that have 🍴carry-out. Netflix. 📺Hulu. Amazon deliveries. Faith.
- Some incredible people are performing beautiful acts of service every single day and calling it their jobs! 🌟We could all learn a thing or two about sacrifice and responsibility from our essential workers. Watch and learn!💫
- I respect people who hold opinions and beliefs that are different from mine- always have. I even feel that it’s important to try to understand the views of others.💡 And, I certainly don’t expect people to agree with everything I believe. BUT- I’m having a difficult time trying to learn something from people who belittle and even attack opposing viewpoints.😡 I don’t get it. Enough! And, while we’re talking about differing opinions, stop❌ it already with the conspiracy theories because they’re teaching us the wrong things. We’re not living a 🎥movie script- we’re living history.
- Wearing or not wearing 😷masks is another hot button issue. Like it or not, there will be places that now require masks. From what I have learned, I choose to wear one when I am not able to practice social distancing. That doesn’t mean I’m more afraid than someone without a 😷mask. It means that I 💞care about folks around me. What if I’m asymptomatic while I’m out and about spreading the virus? It happens, you know. It’s not about you when you wear a 😷mask. I’m not going to fault you for choosing not to wear one. It’s the right choice for me.
Even though certain things are reopening, this pandemic is far from over. The 💰economic effects are also nowhere near a rebound. More than half of my family members are receiving 💵unemployment. We’re at the point where health insurance is going to become an issue, and that scares me.😞 We’re getting new information daily about the ways this affecting our lives- from a 🔬health standpoint as well as 💸financially. The learning has to continue. We don’t have to like it. We don’t even have to agree with all of it. We need to understand it, though. The world is our classroom.
What if…we keep learning? Continue the research and change behaviors when necessary as the information moves forward. I always tell my students- knowledge is power!💪 We’re in it for the long haul, friends, and we cannot stop learning!💞