When I began this school year, I was a fresh faced, peppy teacher with a whole lot of energy. Although, I had come from a classroom that took every ounce of my passion for teaching, I was ready for a fresh start. New school, new year, new me. I never knew the wild ride that this year would become.
The first quarter of school with my fourth graders was full of so much laughter, memories, and smiles. I was BLESSED to have the students that I did and the team that supported me so well.
This continued on through second quarter. It wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but it was my dream job and I was finding my groove. I loved the awesome work that I was doing and came home raving about all the wonderful (and funny) things that had happened throughout the day. I was enjoying teaching and things were going well.
Then we came back for third quarter and while I still loved my job, I was beginning to get caught in the stress. My students were misbehaving left and right, which I often attributed to my lack of discipline. It made me feel like I was a bad teacher when they were acting out. I went home everyday with at least one situation where I had to get on to my students. I was feeling frustrated with declining test scores and seeing students that I was working hard with make little to no progress. I was beginning to feel discouraged.
Then came March, when this whole Coronavirus thing came to be prevalent in Missouri. At first, I was relieved to have a few days off to catch up with grades and get my classroom organized, but then we found out we wouldn’t be back until April 27th. I was stressed, confused, and worried about all the unknown that came along with this news. How would we teach during this time? Would I be able to see my students virtually? How long will it actually last for?
I worried about my students and what they might be feeling. Some of them were excited to be out of school so they didn’t have to do work. Others were scared and wanted to be back in the classroom. Slowly but surely they began to become tired of staying home and most wanted to be back at school with their friends. I wanted that for us too.
Over the past two weeks, I have collaborated with my team daily (thank you, Zoom). We have been constantly making lessons for our district and communicating with families via email. I began to think that I could manage this until we returned April 27th. Yes, it was tedious and frustrating, but I could handle it, if it meant returning healthy and happy.
Flash-forward to today. The governor announced that Missouri schools are to remain closed through the remainder of the year…
I am crushed. For my students. For their families. For my staff. For myself.
I understand the precautions are necessary, but that doesn’t mean I am happy about it. I know this is for the best for all people, but I am sad.
I don’t get to greet this class in the morning again. I don’t get to hold another morning meeting with them. I don’t get to teach them how to be problem solvers anymore. I don’t get to see them succeed and know that my hard work helped them get to that point. We don’t get to finish their fourth grade year together and that breaks my heart.
I am crushed.