Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Let the Games Begin

Today (Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020) this week is when we "let the games begin."

All systems go.

Ready or not, here it comes.

Wednesday (today!) is the day I officially go back to school, starting my 28th year of teaching. (Man, that's a longggg time! I can still remember that first year of teaching, 28 years ago, in great detail!)

The start of school look so different to everyone this year. For us, we are going back partially--in a hybrid fashion (aka: every-other day). We will be full on "in" for our first graders and younger. We will go alternating days for our 2nd through 12th graders. Teachers will be in-house 5 days a week. All divisions have a 5-day remote learning option, if parents opt in for that. All divisions have someone (or 5+ someones) taking advantage of that remote option.

It goes without saying that this will be by far the most different--and perhaps difficult--year of teaching ever. 

In the age of Covid, we send our 18 year olds out to college, hoping that the school stays safe and healthy, responsible, and in session. We hope they can miraculously sustain the entire semester.

Yet as elementary teachers, we are uncertain when it comes times to receiving our wards via the school/school system. We see it as a tough situations with germs abounding, with the littlest ones wrestling with keeping their masks on their face and knowing what 6 weeks of social distancing even looks like. Schools are a little scary right now. But as educators, we go forth. Hoping and praying that we all stay healthy, and we all can do our best for our students.

As I head back to school, knowing teachers are uncertain of their future, we embrace hope. Sometimes, hope is all we have. It certainly beats embracing fear factor or burying our heads in the sand. As educators, what we do is take care of others. We love our students, and would do anything for them. We miss them and our classrooms--and it's been a long time (since March) for most of us  Let's hope we can get back to the business of teaching, staying sane, safe, and healthy. It certainly will be "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" ahead this school year.

In the immortal words of Moira, Johnny, David, & Alexis Rose, I found this tribute from the cast of "Schitt's Creek" (which was created for our 2020 spring graduates) highly fitting as a tribute to all teachers out there. [Schitt's Creek was my go-to binge show this summer. I "Loved me those 6 seasons" (which I maybe watched in a whopping 2 weeks)!!] The Roses make me smile every time!

Teachers, regardless of your format as you re-enter school, be strong, be tough, and be downright awesome. It's going to be a year that you won't ever forget...and a year of patience, creativity, fortitude, grit, work, compassion, innovation, intensity, and empathy. Mask up, sanitize, and don't ever forget to breathe. You can do this--we can do this--and we all will rock it!

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