9748 steps. Emailing parents and community members (that I ignored all day) back at 4:30 PM. Exhausted. This sums up my school day perfectly. The school day that started with the stipulation that the county will close schools if there is one confirmed case of the virus, and it took until 10:00 AM for this to happen. 2 hours. When word got out, and at a middle school word gets out fast (I sweat that it was out at 9:59 AM – how did they know?), the rest of the day was a wash. And really, who can blame an eleven, twelve, thirteen, or fourteen-year-old for this?
The exhaustion doesn’t come from the kids’ wild excitement that school is closed for three weeks (Do they know that we are sending home work?), but instead by the change of directive about how work was going to go home. I felt like the communication mirrored that of the spread of the virus. I couldn’t keep up. But one thing is absolutely certain, I wasted hours devising and creating distant learning plans that can’t be used because of the lack of computers and the uniformity of the lessons with my other sixth grade colleagues. It is strange because we don’t teach the same way or with the same materials all school year (we do teach the same curriculum and content), so why do we start now? This is a question that I can’t answer, and one that I will file away with the many other questions that I can’t answer these days. Now that the uniform plan and packet is complete, one thing is definitely worrying me, and that it, will we need to change the whole plan and do something different tomorrow? I sure hope not, but if we continue on this new path of normalcy, we will be creating something totally different tomorrow.
As I arrived at home to find my fourth grader already starting the work for the next three weeks (and my high school children stating that they will start it tomorrow or Wednesday – yeah right, they have two parents that are teachers), I am relieved and hopeful that this will work and slow the virus. I will miss school SO MUCH, but I won’t stop teaching (at home and long distance) and I won’t stop communicating with my students. We will make it through this, and hopefully, we will all learn something in the process. In the meantime, wash your hands and stay healthy!