I feel as though I am mourning the loss of my classroom and the way it was.
And it was good. I worked SO DAMN HARD for it. And I had so many cool plans to make it even better.
I feel like I am going through the different stages of grief (in no way do I mean to compare this to grieving of an actual human being, but the emotions I am experiencing tend to fall under the umbrella of grief.) I have been in denial. We'll be fine by August. School can be normal next year. Anger: I cannot believe this is happening...this is all so stupid. I hate everything and I am just mad. Bargaining: If you please just wear a mask, then maybe we can go to school in August. Depression: I'm stuck in this funk and nothing can get me out of it. I just want to lay in bed and zone out looking at my phone. Numbing the pain.
And now acceptance.
But I'm done. I cannot live in "this place" forever. I can't keep watching people argue. I cannot stay here. So now I move on. Pull myself up and start taking action. Actions that help produce those "feel-good" messages to my brain.
But what can I do?
I can... start (slowly and safely) going up to the school to work on my classroom. Setting up a "normal" looking space. Organizing my desk and filling out a school calendar.
I can... email my principal and let him know that I am available to help if he needs anything as decisions begin to be made. I am here to support and help make this a success... because you know as soon as plans roll out our leaders won't get many kind emails.
I can... send little note of encouragement to my colleagues. Especially those who I know are struggling.
I can... Start to prepare online hyperslides and projects that can be used in both an in-person and digital scenario. This way I start to feel good about what I have put together, but will need minimal (if any) changes depending on how school starts. (I promise to create a blog post detailing my plan for asynchronous learning throughout this year, complete with an example...I'm just don't have it done yet)
I can... buy some "back to school" clothes. I plan on wearing them in any scenario in order to have my mind and attitude in the right place.
I can... start a campaign of positivity on my social media accounts that students follow. A count down to when I get to see them. Letting them know just how excited I am and how much I miss them.
I can... open my gradebook and look at my roster. Then...without paying attention to numbers (that will change anyway as things move forward) I can look at the pictures of my students. Just seeing their faces makes me happy!
I can... go to dinner (safely in our masks) with my "teaching wife" - - we can brainstorm and enjoy each other's company.
I can... get my "back to school" haircut and manicure with my nail color sporting our school colors.
I can... start to dive down the rabbit hole of amazing ideas for project based learning and digital lessons. There are some amazing teachers out there who have created some great things. I can start brainstorming. (I do have to make sure I am completely ready for this one though...once I open the brainstorming/lesson planning part of my mind, it gets very hard to shut it off).
I can... continue to make sure I do everything I can to build up my immune system. Lots of fruits and veggies and clean eating, exercise, and plenty of sunshine.
I can... be a source of positivity for my family, school, and community!
Because, let's be honest. There is A LOT I cannot control. I know that when plans for reopening finally come out there will be things I agree with and disagree with. I know that those individuals are working SO VERY HARD to try and combat an impossible situation. But if I focus my energy on the things I CAN do... suddenly options start to appear and I am less fearful of the unknown.