New school year brings new fun and a new level of busyness. I am still teaching 5th grade, but with a new team so that always brings new challenges. This looks to be the first year in three that we might be in school the entire year! I cannot teach virtually ever again so praying we survive the winter! I finally have my joy back in teaching after Covid took it away! This year I am a coach for Battle of the Books, UIL, mentor teacher and Webmaster (ha!). You know I feel good when I choose to add more roles (and work) to an already busy life as mom and teacher.
Hard to believe, but my son is in 3rd grade. I hate how STAAR affects our SPED kids, so I have been dreading this year. Also praying that ridiculous HB4545 disappears because it is doing nothing but making a hard job harder. Hopefully, we can find a place for this test that saves education until then I will advocate as a mom and continue to push through as a teacher.
Teaching is my joy and passion. It is really hard, but this profession impacts lives for a lifetime, so when a former or current student dies it should not be a surprise it is devastating.
Homerooms become a family. We check in every day together. Go to lunch. Travel to other classes. Share our triumphs and struggles. Class parties, awards, field trip lines, class pics, yearbook pages….your homeroom in elementary school is life..good or bad-there is a bond.
15 years later, I still have stories of this group…
Funny stories. Sad stories. Stories of growing as a teacher. This group is now 23 to 24. They are graduates, parents, coworkers, college students, soldiers…they are grown, but I will forever see them as this age right here. My kids in 2008.
So when I learned one died it shook me. When I learned it was due to gun violence it broke me. A young person gone too soon. A flood of memories rushed back…the time I ran into him at the store a couple of years ago…the time he came up to share a hug and hello. Once a student, always a student.
Teaching is hard in moments like these. Teaching sadness is real. Seeing these young people hurt is painful. Knowing it is part of the job to love so big that when you lose one it hurts bad.
But we go back each year and build those relationships and families because that is how we learn. We learn in love and we learn in loss.
RIP A’Daireon. You made me a better teacher. God put us together in 5th grade for a reason. God brought our paths together. I am blessed by you. You will never be forgotten.
Summer time is here! As a teacher, these two months (calendars keep changing) are the reason the other 8 months are worth it. Time for family. Time for rest. Time for recharging and reflecting. Time for ALL the appointments.
The temptation may be to do more. More studying. More planning. More getting ready for next year. I say, “Stop!”
Use this time for self care and strengthening your personal wellness and health. Focus on the you that gets forgotten 10 months of the year as you focus on the duties and unwritten contract hours that you never get paid to do. Do not feel guilty for just being.
Teachers are dropping this profession daily so celebrate you are still here, still teaching and commit to the summer “off” before returning. Of course we do our professional development and other areas to grow…but let it be okay to not do that every day as well!
Covid hit the educational world hard. Overnight, learning moved to the virtual world and the stability of the classroom was gone. I never knew how traumatic it was until summer hit and I rested. My body and mind were exhausted.
Returning in person has had challenges, but there is some consistency in our routines, face to face checkins and the smiles and connection to keep us all going. We were required to take Trauma Informed Care for staff development and I needed it!
I needed to learn to take care of myself. I needed the reminder to have empathy for those still in virtual learning. I need to rely on my coworkers more. I need to speak up when I am struggling. Thankful for Crandall ISD that cares about our mental health and gives us time to learn more about the trauma we have all experienced.
One thing is for sure, I have never looked at my face so much as when I have been a virtual teacher in quarantine. Virtual conferences, my pic on a million teaching apps, recording my teaching, having to post pics of me to document I am working…I see me a lot and I am only looking quarantine cute.
My house looks like a hot mess!
I stare at this all day or constantly check my cell phone to respond in a timely manner.
I have heard the background noise of other people's houses more than I ever care to hear. There are some loud homes out there, America!
The codes, the codes, the codes. All the codes to get into all the things! Managing my class and my son’s classes just add to all the codes, new apps downloaded, new accounts created and all this technology makes me want to do my next topic…
Work out, walk, stand outside, put my headphones in and be by myself. I look forward to a workout every day now that there is time. Something about being still in nature and with God is special right now more than ever.
The hardest part is explaining it to a child that truly cannot get it. No words can explain it and it is hard to say no friends, no school, no going to parks. God is good and we will be stronger from this. Pastor Steven Furtick says it is not a matter of if this will end it is a matter of when it ends will you be better from it??