On September 11, 2001, I was an eighth-grade English teacher in Tennessee. When news of the attacks in New York City hit our school community, we …Ground Zero Cover Reveal by Alan Gratz
We start next week with extending the school closure in an effort to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus.
My thoughts swirl endlessly about the day to day operations that I will miss regardless if the things make me happy, sad, annoyed, aggravated, etc.
I really don’t like regular breaks during the school calendar such as Christmas and summer because I want to see my peeps! I want to be around kids, my staff, and parents. So, with the unknown floating around out there of when this virus will be contained, and when school can resume its normal, I fret and worry about all things school. It’s more than teaching and learning…so much more.
Here is a random list, in no order, of what pops in my mind. Some of these are comical, but some are sad. Feel free to add more in comments.
- No attendance to take therefore no calls from attendance clerk when you forget to post 🤣
- No dress codes for teachers. You can wear pjs or leggings any day 🤣
- No dress codes for kids!
- It can be a hat day every day 😊
- Women don’t need to worry about makeup 🤪💄
- Saving gas 🚗
- No transportation changes last minute🤪
- No use for substitutes😊
- No playground accidents
- No Gaga ball
- No one asking to push them on the swings 😔
- No classroom management concerns😁
- No holding your bladder for hours on end 🚽
- You can have an extended breakfast and lunch🍳🥞🍔
- No alarms ⏰ for class schedule reminders
- No technology failures 💻
- No Hvac issues to report
- No tattling unless it’s you or your own kiddos
- No paper jams
- No unscheduled walkthroughs 😳
- No bulletin boards to change 😃
- No car duty 🚗
- No bus duty🚌
- No lunch duty🙅
- NO DUTY 🙌🏼
- No shoelaces to tie 👟 (wet ones are the worst)
- No jackets to zip 🧥
- No pants to button or zip for the littles
- No smelly lockers from left over food 👃🏻
- No hugs, high-fives, or fist-bumps 🤗🖐🏼👊🏻
- No meet and greet Capturing Kids Hearts
- No smiling faces to greet
- No announcements, “Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours!”
- No birthday call outs on the PA🎤
- No treasure chest
- No turn and talk to your neighbor
- No recess
- No PTA meetings
- No volunteers
- No trips to the nurse for a lost tooth 🦷
- No cafeteria lunch lines picking out your food
- No Good Things or launch with Capturing Kids Heart
- No classroom helpers
- No computer 👩💻 lab
- No library time 📚
- No backpacks sending home student work
- No water fountain lines
- No lost and found
- No fun Fridays
- No after school enrichment or clubs
- No tutoring bus
No more kids
- No reminders to flush and wash your hands
- No singing in the restroom (yes, kids sing in there!)
- Reminders to use your manners
- Use your inside voice
- Are you being a Buffalo STAR?
- No stations/centers
- No buddy walks to the office
- No parents bringing in birthday cupcakes
- No parents surprising their kids at lunch
- No pledges
- No helping littles use Kleenex for their nose
- No lunch bunch meetings
- No restorative circles
- No glue stuck on desks
- No bounce out games
- No pacer races
- No Every Good Boy Does Fine
- No cooperative learning
- No dress up theme days
- No field trips
- No Field Day
- No luncheons for staff
No more kids in the building.
This is going to be difficult, but we will get through this bigger and better in spite of the Coronavirus because that’s what we do! Thrive together.
Right now it’s spring break for me. It’s on the calendar every year as is Thanksgiving, Christmas, and summer breaks. All of these breaks are wonderful times to recharge and spend time with your family and relatives, or even go on a vacation. I really enjoy that time, but right around when day three hits, thoughts of my work family and students really start to flood my mind.
You see, my work family and students are my life. I see them considerably more than my own family. I long to hear them laughing and giggling, telling stories, singing in the restrooms, and speaking new words of learning. I smile when I see them smiling in the halls, classrooms, playgrounds, cafeteria, and buses or car duty. I love watching them learn, and seeing them when a lightbulb goes off in their mind is inspirational. I enjoy watching students interact with their peers and teachers. When they stop me and say, “Guess what?” is one of my favorite times at work. That conversation is about to be awe inspiring! I really count on their high-fives and hugs as a part of my daily routine. Happily, when our scheduled breaks are drawing closer to the end, I get very anxious knowing that I will see them soon.
With the pandemic of the Coronavirus around us, and school closings happening everywhere, I am deeply saddened. I am not saddened or panicked by materialistic items such as toilet paper or bread, I am saddened by the unknown. It is unknown when I will truly see my students. We have a scheduled extension of two weeks, but that end date could change based on the virus. I am saddened because I need my students! They are my world. They depend on us at the school and for more than just learning. Their social emotional well-being is in our hands. They depend on us for a healthy breakfast and lunch. They depend on us for creativity building and exploration! They depend on us for more than I can write.
But do you know what? I depend on them more than they know! I need those students like I need air to breathe. I need those sweet innocent children in my life. They are my family, and I want to make sure they are ok. Teaching and learning is our business, but relationships are our life. I dread not knowing when I will hug them again!
Hurry up Coronavirus, get gone so we can get back to doing what we do best- kids!
I often say to my staff and students “When you hurt, I hurt.” When I hear about problems they are going through, I take on the concern just as if it were happening to me. I have an amazing staff that has the same feelings for kids, families and staff as well- going the extra mile to help others in need.
I have attended the funerals for staff when they have lost a loved one, in particular, the loss of their parent. It is incredibly hard to see adults in pain. I have a hard time finding appropriate words for support because I think of my own family at the same time and how I would feel if this happened to me.
Today was a first for me. While I know many people have gone through this, I have not. Many people have gone through worse, but I have not. Today, I attended a funeral for a current and former student’s loss of their father.
As I watched the slideshow in front of me with beautiful pictures of the kids with their father, tears fell down my cheeks. When the mother and family entered the church and made their way to the front row, I was stoic and fixed on them holding on to one another. When the mother was trying ever so hard to control her emotions, I was doing the same. All I could do was cry, silently, as I continued to think of the memories I had of their father visiting our school events to support his children.
Having twin girls the same age and in the same classes as his daughter, I thought to myself about all of the life events his children would go through without a father. I could hear the pastor speaking, but it was muffled as my thoughts were too loud in my head. I checked myself and caught back up with the pastor’s spoken words. I glanced diagonally at the mother in the front row with her children. Tears began to fall again. Her arms are wrapped around her young son. I glanced at my twins next to me, and they are somber, but way stronger at holding emotions than I can.
When you hurt, I hurt.
When you hurt, I hurt!
It took on a truer, deeper meaning today. I cried. And when I got in my car, I cried. And as I write and reflect on this post, I continue to cry. You are part of my family, blood or no blood relation, you are part of my school family.
Oh how I wish I could take the pain away for those kids and the family.
Tomorrow isn’t promised. Hold on to your loved ones. Make memories. Build relationships. It matters most.
Best Books of 2019 — What a Year of Reading!
Explore AudioFile’s 2019 Best YA Audiobooks by Emily Connelly
— Read on nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2019/12/12/explore-audiofiles-2019-best-ya-audiobooks-by-emily-connelly/
The 2019 Nerdies: Young Adult Fiction (Part Two), Announced by a Convention of Nerds
— Read on nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2020/01/03/the-2019-nerdies-young-adult-fiction-part-two-announced-by-a-convention-of-nerds/
The 2019 Nerdies: Young Adult Fiction (Part One), Announced by a Chapter of Nerds
— Read on nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2020/01/02/the-2019-nerdies-young-adult-fiction-part-one-announced-by-a-chapter-of-nerds/
The 2019 Nerdies: Middle Grade Fiction Books Announced by Colby Sharp
— Read on nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2020/01/01/the-2019-nerdies-middle-grade-fiction-books-announced-by-colby-sharp/
The 2019 Nerdies: Long Form Nonfiction Announced by Donalyn Miller
— Read on nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2019/12/31/the-2019-nerdies-long-form-nonfiction-announced-by-donalyn-miller/