Thoughts From A Teacher
Updated: Apr 8, 2020
Fifth Grade Teacher at Monterrey Elementary School
The past 2 ½ weeks have been interesting, and the next few weeks will be as well. As a teacher in the Carlsbad Municipal School system, I am emotionally torn. Teaching is a tough job, but we create bonds with our students. These bonds are what help get us all, teachers and students alike, through each day. We spend so much time together that students begin to feel like family. Now we can’t see them, and communication is spotty. So many of our scholars do not have devices to access the internet, or even have internet at all. I like to have ‘real talk’ with my students. This is a time where we share out what we have going on and seek guidance and emotional support from one another. The hardest thing I am facing right now as a teacher is knowing that I have students out there who need to be able to talk and process what they are feeling, and not knowing if they have had the opportunity to talk it out. I know right now students need an outlet to express themselves and the anxiety they are feeling. These are difficult times for us all, and it is hard to process everything going on. As an adult, it took me about a week to process a day and a half worth of news. We were bombarded with cancelations and closings in a short amount of time, leaving many with unknown feelings.
Our scholars had so much lined up for them this spring. Elementary students were preparing for science testing, talent shows, and coveted spots on the track & field team. Middle schoolers and high schoolers had been prepping for weeks for MESA competitions, state science fair, state sporting events, state testing, SAT/ACT testing, and so much more. Seniors are thankfully having their milestone events postponed. Dance recitals, concerts, family vacations and visits, the beginning of spring baseball/softball season, and so many other events and activities. The disappointment our scholars are facing right now is very real. Their feelings of grief over not being able to complete the tasks they have been working so hard towards has go to be overwhelming. Or maybe it isn’t as hard for them as it is for us as adults. Maybe it is harder on us, because we never had those experiences taken away by a practically invisible force and we know how much those times are a part of our memory. Now our students will only have the memory of being told to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and stay safe at home.
Surely this pandemic will have lasting affects on us all. Some memories will be positive, and some will be negative. I’ve seen our community come together with different Facebook groups encouraging walking and getting outside (at a safe distance from one another). We get to be on the lookout for stuffed animals on the teddy bear hunt, create and look for hearts, I’ve even seen people working on finding ways to support their high school senior and create a window Easter egg hunt. Families are spending more time together, and my wish is that it is positive time for our scholars. I hope that their memories of this crazy time are full of love and comfort. I want to remain positive throughout this entire process, even though I know it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies for some of our community members.