I really didn't think I'd do much professionally this school year...
except TEACH MY HEART OUT!
Before I start, I want to make a timeline of what my own personal school year PHYSICALLY looked like...
- Summer had us "all in," until suddenly we were "all remote."
- September 1 - we started all remote. Teachers taught from the school building unless they qualified for accommodations. (September 4 - I cried like I haven't cried since going through my divorce. I thought nothing could be worse than teaching students on a screen.)
- October 19 - my grade (7th) came for hybrid. T/Th were kids with last names A-K. W/F were kids with last names L-Z. Mondays were remote for everyone, and the schedule was different, to allow for teachers to plan for this absolute madness. I found out that there IS something worse than teaching ONLY students on a screen. Kids were sometimes in the building, and sometimes not, and we really had no clue who would be in front of us and who would be at home. Getting attendance right each period was vital, due to contact tracing, and it took a good five minutes (after spraying tables and getting kids into Zoom)...
- December 2 at the end of the day - teachers at OUR school (just one of two middle and nine elementaries) were sent home due to the IDPH "strongly suggesting" we close the school because of the number of cases we'd had on the second floor.
- December 8 we could teach from the building once again; all students were remote.
- December 15 we were back to hybrid.
- December 18 we were back to remote. (Yes. One day before winter break.)
- January 19 we were back to hybrid. My planning partner/friend started an FML.
- January 21 we were "all in" (with kids still on Zoom). Of course, it happened again. "All in" is at the discretion of parents who chose this option. My NEW planning partner suddenly had to teach remotely. This was the third hardest day of my school year.
- January 26 I wrote a "glimpse in the day of a middle school teacher" to the school board - it was the next hardest day of my school year. Oh, and the sub had a sub. And I was writing sub plans AND going into school. Who knew it could get more difficult?
- April 26th we were "all in" (with kids still on Zoom) EVERY day of the week. No more remote Mondays. No more "all in one place at least once a week." No more 1:1 conversations with kids. No more breakout rooms. No matter what I said, did, who I wrote, who I cried to. If my voice was heard, it was not valued.
- Nada. Zip. Zilch.
- #DitchSummit thanks to Matt Miller and sooooo many fabulous educators!
- I REALLY learned what I need to do in order to care for myself - mentally and physically. I hope I can call on these skills if/when life ever gets back to some semblance of "normal."
- I learned how to SLOW DOWN.
- I only have students for 80 min/day. I can only do so much. I'll simply try my best.
- I will strive for smiles and conversations every day.