An Extrovert in Crisis

Many titles go through my mind, my favorite is, “Crazy and the Aftermath of COVID-19,” but possibly offensive, or is it? Another,”We are all in this together.” Yes, we are and why are we still re-stating that tired phrase? Finally, “Social distancing and how far is far enough?” Again, we are an intelligent public, just state the obvious without the fancy wording. Stay inside and drive yourself out of your minds while doing mindless chores to remove your outside thoughts from altering your current reality of no social contact. That my friends is social distancing. Gamers got this activity down to a science, but inside the mind of the extroverts in your lives, it is not pretty. Personally, I lost it on Day 3 and truth be told, I have no idea what day it is, either weekday or isolation number. I stopped counting. But “Mr. Clean” would be proud. To make matters worse in my scattered brain, I am a teacher. No one but my husband has recently heard me bark, “Walk to the right, tie your shoes, no running in the hallway, classroom, sidewalk, and for the last time hoodies off.” Please note he does not own a hoodie, but he has obeyed all other rules. We did have a significant debate on hoodie wearing, and I now see his side. What is the big deal? If I get the chance to go back to my second home all hoodies can be worn. I will pay the price, but our kids need comfort after an earth shattering virus, a hoodie is no big deal. But today, on day whatever, none of this matters as we are in a world that is unrecognizable and for a teacher this means having no one to teach.

So, I wait for what is next. We all do.

Education is people orientated, we are not all meant to sit behind computers and calculate away, but this is our new adjustment and major companies are stepping up to the plate bearing resources galore. For the short-term life has glorious options to keep our kids ticking. virtual field-trips, online art, Broadway shows streaming into you home along with free/reduced prices on the major players in the learning world. All fantastic and actually amazing home opportunities, unless you are like me waiting to see the faces of your kids and calm their uncertainty. My fear is that many will stay in this homeschooling arena, out of fear, the longer we stay closed. Not coming back to the classroom world of education filled to the brim of the social interaction needed to create a well-rounded human would be a mistake. I think all modules of choice, charter, private, and public will be dampened by our choice of panic and closures. Instead they will learn online in a safe bubble. So, is this bad? No. It is a parents choice, and the fear is real. No blame, just a big fat sad emoji, as I am a public school teacher, and I want all of my kids to come back. Teaching is who I am and in our lives we all need to be valued inside or outside of the home, or both. What we do in our professional life, and where we go everyday to fulfill that role allows us to feel like we make a difference, which gives us the impetus we need to stay on this rabbit wheel, through the tough times. I will never forget my first few years of a stay at home parent. I was lost, felt undervalued (I wasn’t) and knew I needed more. Insert graduate school. It was hard especially with toddler in tow, but through tutoring, kind instructors, and a great kid who did not mind ASU lectures, I succeeded. That was my goal and after it was met, I decided to put it to use even after my value as a person was validated just by crossing the finish line. After nineteen years in the classroom I am again at a loss.

So, I wait for what is next. We all do.

I am ready for this to go away permanently as my feeling of usefulness beyond being a brave grocery shopper trying to snag toilet paper or clorox brings zero satisfaction. Teaching is my life and I know my kids need me as much as I need them. Also, many of my kids do not have what many families do, relative sanity, a high-school education, patience, and the time to deliver the guidance the online work truly needs.

So, I wait for what is next. We all do.

We wonder and pray what life will be like after we all are set free from the hunkering down in front of our television sets and computer screens. We play board games, binge on Netflix, scrub our homes, clean out closets, and dream of a time when gatherings will be plentiful, and our emotional buckets full. We are as a country doing the right thing though I see no end in sight. My extrovert self started my own daily routine filled with reading, writing, prayer, online lesson ideas, walking, and online fitness programs. Plus the added thrill of the new hobby of finding of toilet paper and clorox wipes. I might not come out of this a sample size or a home filled with paper products, but I hope that the small part I play in this pandemic does what it needs to and kills the spread during these uncharted times. Currently, all you can do is go with the flow and value life on a simpler level. As I go through my daily tasks the pain of not seeing my kids does not lessen but it keeps me busy and that’s all that any of us can ask for during this time.

For the next few weeks and beyond please follow my blog. In the midst of the homeschooling terror I will give you weekly ideas to help you get through these times along with real-life tips from a former failed homeschool mom, me. Well, not a failure but a final standoff and a threat to put me in perpetual timeout unless I stopped teaching came from my one and only and I quickly realized timeout sounded fabulous. School tours quickly ensued. People, this format is not for everyone but my experience in the classroom and in the home arena along with my real words, no fancy teaching jargon, will hopefully give you the sense you are not alone. Think of me as the bloggess of education. But be prepared I call it like I see it, but am here to help, make you laugh, and remind you we will all get through this together.

Stay safe and healthy!

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