COVID is making me a worse teacher

On the drive home today, I thought about what I would do if a student ever found my blog. In all reality, I wouldn’t do anything. So, if you’re one of my students, just don’t tell the principal. Hmkay? Soon, no one will even know my maiden name and this will all be my fake alias.

Schatzi at 3 months old!

Back to our regularly scheduled programming. I haven’t written a blog in a long time. Here’s an update on life:

-Got a puppy. A German Shorthaired Pointer to be specific. Named him Schatzi. He is 3 months old today.

-Finished the flooring upstairs and in the family room downstairs

-Put together an electric fireplace, put up a TV, made the living room downstairs cozy.

-Only had a few emotional breakdowns since Josh has been home from deployment. “Reintegration” or whatever they call it is hard.

-Still haven’t really met the neighbors other than Dave. He owns a huge, old black lab that Schatzi loves.

-Schatzi and Helix DO NOT get along. Helix tolerates his existence.

-Made and ate far too many Christmas cookies for it to only be December 7th.

This whole me being a worse teacher because of COVID is a real problem. I have become passive. I don’t walk around the room to check on students anymore because ‘six feet apart’ – ya know? My classroom is so small to begin with that I just stay in my little desk bubble and don’t leave my safe zone. In addition, I have most kids in class but then a few rando’s on Zoom, and I’ve struggled to provide the virtual kids with a rich learning environment because I can’t do some of the same things as I would in class. No more station activities. No more gallery walks. No more get up and get moving around the room. No more differentiating groups during group work. They come in and sit down and can’t get up and talk to their peers. It’s quite strange. I’ve obviously done my best, but I just feel like I’m slowly losing the best parts of my job and losing the excitement that I have for the job. The kids are awesome this year. The naysayers who said kids won’t wear masks sure look dumb now!

I wonder what work-life will look like next year. Who knows? A lot of the pandemic has changed teaching for good. Like, recording your lectures and class for kids who couldn’t (didn’t want to) be there. Being a more empathic and understanding human being. Forcing myself to slow down and stop for a moment. Refocusing on what’s important. (THIS one has a lot of caveats. What’s most important content-wise? Which targets can we hit in the least amount of time? What’s mosts important to me personally?) There’s a lot of good to come out of all of this. Teaching hasn’t really changed since the 1800’s. Maybe now its time for a systematic change!

What’s important to me right now is working on my relationship with my husband now that he is stateside. Working on my health by getting back in the workout routine. Being an awesome teacher for my students. Being a better friend to those who I care about.

7 more days until Christmas break!

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