Back to School Thoughts

Hi everyone. It’s been quite a while since I posted on here and honestly, it’s because the spring semester really took a toll on me (lots of crying and weight gain). I was already struggling with the group of students I had, but then when COVID hit and we went virtual, it was just a lot to handle.

Even after the semester ended, I really couldn’t find very much motivation for writing. What does one write about on a lifestyle blog when travel can’t happen and outfits/shopping seem like such an insignificant aspect of life?

Before deep thoughts on school: on the weekend right before final grades were due, we woke up to find three puppies in our driveway – we still don’t know where they came from and assume that someone dumped them in the field behind our house. We kept two and found a fun family with children for the very energetic third one. At least that was a good way to keep me distracted for a while.

But I’m back to blogging. I hope.

School actually starts next week. Face to face. It seems surreal to me and also makes me sick to my stomach. Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching, and I love being in a classroom where I can dance around and flail with excitement about literature and language, but this semester isn’t going to be “normal.” We’re all required to wear masks (thank goodness) and classrooms have been set up for social distancing…but students are living in dorms. Or driving back home where they live with other people. I can control my classroom, but what happens when 18-22 year olds aren’t in class and are out socializing?

I know I’m young and healthy and *likely* would be ok if I contracted COVID, but I’m a very risk averse person and am terrified about what *could* happen.

I don’t want to be a hero, putting myself at risk for…well, money (and I don’t mean my own paycheck). And it’s really frustrating to see people villainizing teachers who don’t want to return face to face as “lazy” or “not wanting to work.” I really wanted to fight a girl on Instagram yesterday because she said teachers needed to “step up” and get back in the classroom. Trust me, teaching online is A LOT harder and A LOT more work than teaching in-person. I also find it funny how we went from “pay teachers more” in the spring to some of the ugly comments that are out there now.

I also know that parents really struggled with teaching their kids when we went virtual in the spring. I get that. But I can’t imagine being a primary or middle school teacher trying to keep kids in masks and social distancing. Teaching those grades isn’t for the faint of heart, but add in a pandemic? There’s really no perfect solution, but call me crazy, the best one seems to be the one that keeps the most people safe.

I’ve seen and heard so many of my colleagues talking about wills and extra life insurance as they gear up for the fall semester. In fact, earlier this week while I was running, the thought crossed my mind that I should probably make a list of who gets my possessions so my husband has some instructions in case something does happen. Perhaps that’s overly dramatic, but who knows.

And if you’re an essential worker and have been required to put yourself at risk from the beginning, it’s not much but thank you from the bottom of my heart.

As I conclude this dark and dreary post, please enjoy some photos of the pups, Baxter and Brisket. At least when I come home from school there will be two excited faces to greet me!

Thanks for stopping by! Wear a mask, listen to science, and stay safe out there!

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