A Teacher's Thoughts
By Michele RobertsonFor those that didn’t know, I only moonlight as a writer for The Carlsbad Local. By day I teach 5th graders,and this is my third year doing so. As you can all imagine this school year has its own set of challenges to overcome, and they keep coming. Just when I think we’ve got the routine down and we are making good progress something comes along to throw a monkey wrench into things. I tell my students the one thing in life that is consistent is change, and while we may not have control over what happens, we always have control with how we react to situations. It was unexpected to hear the announcement that we could return to in-person learning today (Feb. 8th, 2021). With that announcement came a thousand questions and what if scenarios, how do we handle this, that, and more of this. A colleague coined the first week of February as warp speed week. Things were happening and evolving at a tremendous pace. My mind and spirit took an emotional beating listening to all the valid concerns that were coming up and trying to figure out what would be the best way to deal with so many unknowns left me mentally exhausted at the end of the day. On top of that was the physical exhaustion of scrambling to make sure rooms were ready for the return of children to our schools. We were 33 days shy of the one-year mark since scholars had been in our buildings in all grades. So much to be done with routines and procedures, we were essentially on day one. The day seemed to fly by, I don’t think I made it through half of what I wanted to do today. But that is okay. I had kids in my classroom today. Let me say that again. I had kids in my classroom today. I honestly didn’t think I would this school year. Teaching is a tough job,and I don’t always like it, but seeing their bright eyes (couldn’t see the smiling faces, but I’m sure they were there) and their eagerness to be there made today a good day. Each day we are back we will learn more on how to adapt and what works best. Some people were concerned with the kids being able to keep their mask on all day, I’ve got to say my students did great today. The only issue is some of the masks are a little big on their faces and wouldn’t stay put, so we had several mask checks throughout the day to make sure they were correctly positioned. New routines will be formed and if the inevitable happens, where we go back to the remote setting, at least now it is familiar and won’t be so difficult to navigate. These past few months have been difficult for everyone, but there are good things that have come during the pandemic, if only we will look for them. I’ve seen more people getting outside, which is great for physical and mental well-being. Just remember to recreate responsibly and pick up after yourself, and others if you are able. Our children have learned to work with technology in a multitude of ways in a short amount of time.
They have adapted to constantly changing and undesirable restrictions. They have learned more about independence and the importance of being responsible for themselves and what they do. Our teachers have also learned to work with technology in many new ways in no time atall. Adapting is the name of the game in education, resilience and grit come to mind also. The difficult times have not gone away.There are more trials to come and hurdles to get through. Carlsbad, our kids are back in school. We are one step closer tothe desired end game of having all scholars in school together all day, everyday; enjoying sports, performing in band, singing, creating, experimenting, learning, laughing, and being kids and maybe one of these days we will get to hug our students again.