Here’s to…

One of the things that’s changed at school from before COVID is the number of videos we make. We used to make a few explaining how to do complicated things like writing a Claim Evidence Reasoning paragraph or how to create a website, and occasionally we’d record parts of a lab so the absent kids would have access. Now we make videos for absolutely everything, and it’s so time-consuming. I lose part of my prep to either making the video or recording my co-teacher. If there are multiple parts to the video, I’m sitting here at 9 PM trying to figure out why they’re not on the cloud yet and downloading them in some other way. In the morning, I’m stitching them all together and editing out the parts with kids’ faces or blank time, then waiting for them to upload back into Drive or onto Google Classroom. I have some from last year that might work, but mostly we have to redo, because everything is in person this year and it looks different than the online version. It’s a lot of work. And that’s on top of keeping track of the other stuff the district keeps throwing at us. And just grading. When do I do that? I don’t know. Whenever I can. I’m never caught up, even when I spend 8 hours over the weekend trying to get there. Ugh. This year is not normal. It hasn’t been normal in so long, and every once in a while, I’ll be showing an example drawing from an old unit, and I’ll feel the tears rise up in my eyes, because that unit was from right before COVID hit. It was when we didn’t even know how complicated and hard it would be. And we don’t know when or if it will ever go back.

The pro is that I hand Oreos to a bunch of kids and all of a sudden they can sort of explain plate motion. Much harder to do on Zoom. I remind myself of that.

I’ve been cutting pieces out on the new quilt since Sunday night…it’s slow.

I made it onto the second yard of Wonder Under. These are the yards with a million pieces on them.

Not really. But there’s an hour and a half of cutting between those two at the top and you can barely tell. I didn’t even finish one yard last night. It’s fine. Cutting while sitting on the couch and watching British mysteries is not all bad. It’s a good end to the day.

I walked when I got home yesterday. I almost persuaded myself that it was too late and I was too tired, but then I fought the tired (I’m really good at that) and shoved the headlamp into my pack, because it’s not like it’s going to be getting lighter in the next few weeks…and I did shorten the walk somewhat because I had to cook dinner last night.

I saw this leaf and its friends on the ground and I kept walking for about 20 steps and then couldn’t stand it because that leaf was imprinted on my brain, it was so beautiful. So I went back and took a picture and then freed it on someone’s lawn.

It was happy to be on a green lawn. Very contrasty.

I did stay late at school last night to force myself to grade all the art warmups…this one amused me.

Interesting kid.

Anyway, today is more plate motion, more Oreos, more grading, more trying to catch up, more explaining, more meetings, and a flu shot. Plus exercise and book club. Which is a long drive but that’s OK, there are friends at the end of it. And those are probably more important than anything else. It’s the one thing that makes this year easier (?) than last year…maybe not easier, but better? Having friends around me to plan with and discuss kids with and have lunch with. That’s the difference. It helps. I don’t feel as isolated as last year. The work is still hard and overwhelming and please don’t think that little bit of friendness makes up for all the crazy shit we’re dealing with otherwise…because even the kids aren’t really an issue (just a couple)…it’s the workload that’s not normal and over the top and that’s the part that burns us out the most.

Anyway. Here’s to exercise and friendships and getting as much done as you can and taking breaks when you need to.

One thought on “Here’s to…

  1. Hang in there. You seem like you’re doing better than a lot of people I know. My daughter is at school from 7:00 or 7;30 until 6 or even 7 pm almost every day and says she still brings stuff home. It’s crazy how much harder teaching has become. Beautiful leaf! 🍁 Love your student’s drawing. Kids are so funny and unique. ❤️ Stroke of genius using Oreos to teach plate motion! Do you need additional supplies? Of Oreos?


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