The first two days of our new school year are in the books.
Here are a few random thoughts about it:
- Incredibly positive student energy and shockingly good attendance were great highlights. I had predicted that as many as twenty percent of the students on our rosters would be no-shows, and I was happy to be way wrong.
- Teaching in-person is as fun as I remembered it to be!
- Teaching in-person is as physically exhausting as I remembered it to be!
- Wearing a face mask for seven hours straight is as uncomfortable as I had imagined it to be…
- Teaching in a pandemic is very rough, but I can’t imagine what it’s like for our incredibly hard-working site-based school administrators.
- I don’t know what the hell we’re going to do for lunch when the weather turns bad. Our lunch room is small, and can only seat a fraction of our student body. We have a lot of covered areas where we now have tables, but they are not going to cut it when it’s very cold and rainy. During “normal” times, our classrooms are filled students eating lunch. But we can’t really have unmasked students in them now.
- It’s wonderful not to have to spend so much time making paper copies! Even though I’m still doing some, primarily in my Beginning ELL classes, it’s so much easier being able to go paperless and have students access them on our Chromebooks.
- A substantial percentage of our students still like to do work on paper. I’ve been giving them a choice of if they want to do writing/drawing online or with pen-and-paper – about one-fourth of my students so far have chosen the paper route.
- Our district and, I suspect, many others, appear physically incapable of providing any kind of useful professional development, and this year was no exception. We had two days of it right before school began, and it was truly awful. The only useful parts were portions developed by our own site, by our union local, and a module purchased by the district from Epoch Education.
- It feels strange to be in a fairly small room with thirty other human beings. We’re all masked, but I haven’t been in that kind of situation for eighteen months.
- I continue to be very concerned about COVID outbreaks, the health and safety of our students, my personal safety and quarantines. It doesn’t appear that our district is covering itself in glory by how it’s handling an outbreak at a school that opened a few weeks earlier (see page six in this report). I’m hoping they will learn from their mistakes, but I’m not holding my breath.
What a year it’s going to be….