Corona Virus Quarantine: Day #153: Doing the Best We Can! August 20, 2020:
This week I’ve been back at school in meetings all week and then heading to volleyball practice afterwards (which has been glorious). While I feel so very good being back I have just come off being with my kids every single day for almost 6 months. So to go cold turkey and just not see them hardly at all for an entire week has been hard on them and on me. #momguilt am I right?
I asked our babysitter to take some pictures this week and to send me videos. These helped me keep my spirits up in a week where there has been a lot of questions, a lot of information and at times, an enormous feeling of being overwhelmed.
I see so many people posting things about how they don’t understand how teachers aren’t ready for the school year. Many. Critical. Things. Many not so nice things are being said about teachers and the educational system.
As a teacher, I can tell you, we’ve all been planning. As a teacher I can also tell you the second we have a plan, 24 hours later, it changes. I can tell you that not one teacher in our building will teach in their actual classroom, instead some will move as many as 5 times. Some of these teachers have been in the same room since our school opened. We can’t have desks or personal belongings. Until today we weren’t sure if we were going to be totally online, in a hybrid or fully in school. The school schedule has changed many times. There are like 100 new protocols for everything because of Covid. Many teachers do not have childcare for their own children if their kids schools aren’t in session. Teachers everywhere are being bombarded with a lot of new information. That’s not to say we can’t handle it, of course, we can. But…under the circumstances it’s still a lot of new information in a short period of time and a lot to absorb. The job we’ve been doing for a long time has completely changed and we are not just getting the playbook.
While a lot of this will become part of our new normal all of this information is overwhelming. For example, I have been able to get a small taste of what is will be like to teach kids in a mask while at practice. Not being able to see a kids smile is a challenge I cannot describe. On the flip side they can’t see mine either and that is equally disturbing. I smile…a lot when I’m working. Work makes me happy. These kids make me happy. Will they be able to tell when they can’t see my smile? I hope so. Will I be able to read their face and emotion when all I can see is their eyes? The answer is I will have to figure it out, and I will. But these are the questions we are having to ask ourselves.
Another question is will I really get to connect with and bond with my students when I’m trying to learn their names for the first time by their hair style and eyes only? That is a new challenge we are facing. One I know my fellow colleagues will find a way to crush because that is what we do. We adapt, we pivot, we make the best of a crappy situation so that our kids can have some kind of normal in their life. I’d argue we all have to do this in the new world we are living in.
Regardless of that, I’m so tired of all the divisiveness. It doesn’t even make me mad anymore, it just makes me sad. It isn’t helping…anyone.
I have to believe that the vast majority of all humans are doing the very best they can. I have seen the work our admin and our facilities staff has been doing all summer to make school possible for the kids at St. James. I have seen very dedicated teachers spend their summer taking classes or webinars to try to learn how to better teach remotely. I see everyone around me doing the best they can.
We are ALL struggling with this Covid crap. ALL OF US! Maybe we should stop saying negative things about the people who are volunteering to go into a building with 400 or in some cases as many as 1,200 or more people to give them an education. I’m willing to bet that many of the people being nasty on social media wouldn’t walk into that lion’s den, especially not for what these people are getting paid.
So please, stop before you speak and say something mean, hurtful or damaging about a person who is willing to go against what most health professionals are saying we should do and instead are willing to do the opposite. This isn’t about gating criteria or faulty numbers, because I think we can all agree that system isn’t perfect. This is about human beings who are doing the best the can and want what’s best for your child. We are all just trying to do the best we can…so please, play nice.
Now that I got that off my chest, to help improve my mood I’m going to share the nuggets of goodness that came my way this week to help me push through the school day without my small humans.
For those who knew my in high school or played club sports with me, when I saw our 10 year olds outfit today I couldn’t help but laugh. I loved tye-dye, I always wore weird socks pulled up to my knees (Ellen’s are Bob Ross socks and they say “happy trees”) and my hair was unruly just like hers, the knobby knees may also be something we have in common. This sweet little girl. I cannot handle it!
These two beauties spending their day at Aunt Jenny’s pool. Love to see those smiles!
I mean seriously. This guy!
How fun does this look? Sad to have missed this one, though it’s probably best I did. I see an injury waiting to happen here for me!
This one is a keeper. I miss you too buddy!
This gives you some insight into our life. We watched a little Hamilton again tonight as the kids are always singing the songs and Bryan was able to catch a little bit of our crazy Fletcher. To his kindergarten teachers, I apologize in advance if he sings Hamilton in your class. This video doesn’t really do him or his zest for singing justice.