Corona Virus Quarantine Day #46: May 4, 2020
Today my guest writer is the sweet hearted, hard working, handsome almost 10 year old…Cooper Dorsey!
Today we ate breakfast and started school. First I had math and then I did my specialty project. I am doing the state of Massachusetts. I am most excited about seeing the history stuff when we are able to visit there. Then I did IXL Reading. I like school.
Then I worked with Daddy on a present for Ellen and Finley for our birthday tomorrow. It is really cool. I think they are really going to like it. I really enjoyed working with daddy and I’m really excited to give it to them tomorrow.
Then I took Gigi out and let her run around. I like to take her out, it’s fun to play with her. Sometimes she bites, which I don’t like. She especially likes to bite Fletcher but that’s mostly his fault!
Then I went to the barn and I did my shots. I shot 250 makes today. It’s really fun doing that. I am getting a lot better at it. I hope I get better every day.
After that I took Gigi out again and she ran a lot. She never seems to get tired.
Then I went inside and worked on the present again to make it perfect. Then Finley and me watched some of the Jordan show. It’s really cool. He won 6 championships. He’s really good at dunking! He also won the Defensive Player of the Year and the All Star Game MVP and he won the dunk contest too all in one year.
Daddy let me and Finley play a little 2K on the Nintendo Switch. I won the first game as the Cavs. I beat Finley’s Lakers. The 2nd game Finley won the all time Celtics vs. the all time Lakers. I have gotten really good at dunking and shooting threes in that game. It’s super fun.
Then I finished the present with dad and we finished the Jordan episode we were watching.
Overall I have liked all the time we get to spend together playing during the quarantine. We get to play at the barn more and we’ve had some cool new experiences like school at our home. We have a lot more time to play outside too. The bad part about this is we can’t go anywhere, no stores or restaurants. We have to stay 6 feet from everyone and we can’t see anyone that much. It also hurts people which is the worst part, that part is not fun.
I’m really excited for our birthday tomorrow. I am excited to give my presents and to get some too. Mom is making good desserts and food. I hope it’s a good day.
Today I am thankful for everything except the corona virus or any sicknesses.
Teacher Appreciation Week.
Teacher’s everywhere are scratching their heads as this week is supposed to be about celebrating them. In normal times that would typically mean the mom’s clubs bring a coffee bar one day, we’d have chili another day, an ice cream bar too maybe! Grade school teachers get gift cards and trees of money…us high school teachers…not so much! But either way people take time out of their day to acknowledge our contributions to their child’s development…which is nice.
Now we are teaching from our homes, in whatever room we can find that will lead to the fewest number of interruptions from the children we have at home that we are also now homeschooling. We can’t hug our students, or encourage them individually like we can in a classroom. We have to read their mood and interest level across a computer screen. It’s less than ideal. This week a friend of mine posted the following statement to my FB page.
I am not sure I have seen a more accurate or perfect piece of writing. I half laughed half cried when I read it! It so beautifully summarizes this situation and teacher’s response to it.
So here are my thoughts…
Are we teachers perfect? Certainly no. But we walked out of our classrooms on March 13th hoping we’d return to it with our students and haven’t been allowed back in since…and haven’t seen our students since then either. We were given no aid, no guidance we were simply told to figure it out. As the writer above suggests we “Apollo 13’d it”…that’s actually my favorite part! These same government institutions that were nowhere to be found for us during this crisis, will be the ones who mandate how we do our job…even though many of those making the rules were never once themselves an actual educator.
And figure it out…we did. I know I can only speak from my own experiences but St. James has crushed this whole online learning gig. None of us love it, but our kids are still having meaningful learning experiences and even meaningful faith filled experiences as we just had our first online virtual Junior Retreat. Our kids school of Sacred Heart has also provided us with meaningful work for our kids and the teachers have made themselves present to their students as well. The hard part is us teaching it ourselves.
While none of what we have done is perfect…it is, I’d say, under the circumstances, pretty damn amazing what we were able to come up with.
As a coach I work out with female athletes three times a week via zoom and we meet once a week in a leadership summit of sorts to talk about how to be a good teammate, confidence and how to maximize our potential as human beings. While I would rather be doing all of this in person…we aren’t going to let any stay at home order keep us from bettering ourselves and those in our care whether it be in the classroom or on the field/court. That is what teachers do. I am proud to call myself one of them for nearly two decades now.
So, before I depart, can I ask a favor? A personal one? Can we also use this as a lesson to stop bad mouthing and bashing teachers and coaches or just the profession itself? Here’s why…in my nearly 20 years as a teacher and almost 10 years as a parent I’ve come in contact with every kind of parent there is. Every. Single. Kind. I’ve heard from friends, even family how my job is “easy” and “not real” (yes those words have been said to me) and how they wished they could “have summers off”. I’ve been called names I can’t even bring to type here in this message. Educators are tired of being dismissed as people who are out to get kids, are lazy or stupid and just want to have summers off. Teachers are none of those things and so much more than that. I’m pretty sure parents who have been homeschooling their own children for the past 6 weeks now know that for themselves.
Now, I know the VAST majority of people respect and appreciate their kid’s teachers and coaches. However, even though many feel that appreciation, our profession is still not one that is widely respected across the globe. Can we use this mess to change that? Please?
Can I also please clear a few things up for those of you that are reading this that I have annoyed (I promise that’s not my intent)??? Let’s start with the easiest myth to dispel. To be clear, we don’t get “paid” to have summers off. In fact, we extend our contract through the summer months so we can get a paycheck. Our actual contract is only for the months we are in school. Also, I don’t know a single teacher that takes their summers off to lay by the pool. I for example, spend most of my summer in the gym, teaching the game I love. So that argument can shrivel up and die because it simply isn’t based on fact.
Also, I don’t know one teacher/coach who got into this vocation to mess with or control kids lives. Every single teacher I know, instead, got into teaching because they love kids. So let that rhetoric die…please.
Furthermore, good teachers are some of the hardest working people I know. Here’s a small glimpse into why…good teachers bring their work home with them…every day. Every night. No, not just the piles of papers we grade but the actual baggage we pile on to our shoulders. The worry. The genuine concern for our students who are going through things like divorce at home, abusive home life, bad relationships of their own, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, low self worth, suicide attempts and the list goes on and on. Good teachers know these things about their students and they worry. A lot.
Teachers have actual genuine love for their students. This time spent in quarantine has gutted them. The teachers I know would MUCH rather be in a classroom with them rather than teaching them online or sending work to parents to organize their learning.
My students are part of my extended family. I don’t love them the same way I love my own children but that love is still real. When they are sad, hurt or disappointed…I feel that too. Myself and my comrades do a whole heck of a lot more than take our summers off and take the easy street by “just being a teacher”. So if something good can come out of this pandemic, I suggest a little more respect for a profession, that let’s be honest, many people now know they could never do successfully.
So to all my teacher friends out there. I see you, I feel you, I pray for you, I respect you, I applaud you and I celebrate your awesome.
To all of you homeschooling your kids…I feel your pain, literally…I share in it. I pray for your pain and I celebrate any day we successfully educate our own kids, cause that business is tough!
To the non teachers reading this. If you know one, have kids who have one, or love one, send them a little note of appreciation this week. They are hurting right now just like the kiddos who are missing their schools and friends and events too and we all are hopeful for normal school for all of us!
Just a few pics of my in my teaching profession. Oddly enough I do not have pictures of me teaching in a classroom because who would be taking that picture and why? That would be super weird!
Stay well my friends!