education

Summer Countdown

July 19th. There is no true answer for our state (Arizona) in sight but many options that boggle the mind and put constraints on the families we serve.

The dawn of a new era of education is around the corner. Teachers wait, parents wait, kids wait. In the beginning, long, long ago (March) I did feel the lockdown and online education was about safety with a mix of true panic. The schools, to their own admission, did not handle true valid education well, we were more like the Titanic, just trying to survive with few getting to shore. While teachers spent hours a day attempting to teach, it was utter chaos on many levels due to the newness of the word lockdown, fear, frustration, no internet for many families coupled with language barriers. My Spanish improved, but not by much.

I still miss my kids I stopped seeing in March. They lost out on their 8th grade year but as they march onto 9th grade their memories of 8th grade losses will fade as their new lives begin. As a teacher, these losses are engrained in my soul with the only bright spot on my horizon my next classroom and my new beginnings. To me, every year is a fresh start, from decor to lessons. I love change and frankly, no class has ever been the same in eighteen years. The art of lesson creation and relationships with my students are my strengths. Both may be lost, as we still wait for our final orders from the talking heads that truly run education with money and politics at the forefront. Kids seem to be lost in the shuffle and this is more apparent this year.

In Arizona, many districts have pushed back real in-person learning until October. What will they gain, what will they lose? That is the question? We are now prepared with fancy platforms and bitmojis, but we are forgetting the parents needs and the social aspect of learning. For what? Safety, money, fear? Other districts, depending on your view, are either brave or crazy, will go forward with in-person learning with choices. My school falls into that category. Frankly, I feel the choice is empowering for all involved, as just forcing parents into another three months of homeschool light sentence is one that teachers are beating the drum for but parents have not seemed to weigh in yet, we will see their reaction come fall, through the registration numbers. Parents will march or stay put based on the obvious economic constraints, the difficulty of online education and true grasping of the material and the social nature of the classroom. Or they will stay due to loyalty to the school and fear of the disease. We do not know.

So, this blog has found a purpose. My writing will take you on my 2020-2021 journey filled with the realities of the continued saga of Covid-19 and the educational disaster we are facing in the coming years if we continue to be hold kids and parents hostage

Eventually, my musings will morph into an ebook based on true stories that share a glimpse into the real world of public education in a time where flexibility will be key.

Yes, it”s me.
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The Journey Of Self

Recently, education has a new buzz word, self-care. This obviously named term is different to each teacher. Most, I fear just sleep. The profession is tough. I take two days into each holiday break and hide from all humans. This sounds insane and cause for a nice padded room vacation, unless you are a teacher. It is the daily movements or lessons that cause me to become a shrinking violet, it is the mental stress that never leaves my side along with the constant pressures of data, testing, and the reality that our kids live in this crazy world. One that no amount of data can guide. Our kids love or hate us, with no bearing on who we are, but who they are in their lives on that particular time of the day. It makes days challenging and I love that factor but it is also exhausting, bring on the buzz word.

So another weekend begins. I start with true momentum. I get dressed. Then I take a nap. I look at Facebook and get true FOMO when I hit Instagram. With my senses completely overstimulated I launch into the realities of the weekly mindless chores, that I hide behind just to gather enough strength for the week. It is not the physical or the creative demands that brings me to my knees. It is the issues the kids bring into the room and how we need to whisk all their baggage away so learning can happen. The impossibility of this notion brings me back to self-care. On Saturday, I do not move. I am too exhausted. If I tell you I did something exciting over the weekend, even a movie outside of my home. I am probably spinning a tale. My FOMO is always high with no jealousy at my friends adventures, but always wondering what it would be like to have enough strength to have a weekend where home necessities and events could intertwine.

So instead of self-care that revolves around outside enjoyment, spa days, or other intellectual moments, mine will always be about sleep. On Monday I always hit the ground with vim and vigor as long as coffee is by my side or my true addiction Diet Coke. In the midst of writers workshop on Friday I thought I lost my soda, as I roamed the room and scanned countless essays. I teared up. That is not a good sign my friends, but it will have to be as the week is long, my kids are needy, and I will always love being the exhausted teacher that I was meant to be in this world.