BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


Leave a comment

When You Aren’t Looking

There was supposed to be a meteor shower the other night. What could be better than a sky full of shooting stars to wish on? Especially right now.

We headed to the backyard, beverages in hand, to wait. The lounge chairs had their comfy cushions on them, and it was the perfect temperature. We reclined and gazed at the sky.

It was nice, being out in nature, even if our present definition of nature was our suburban backyard. We talked and laughed and all the while kept our eyes on the sky.

Nothing.

images.jpg

What we didn’t see

At least nothing that either of us could see. We joked that while we were facing South the light show would be happening behind our backs. Maybe it did.

We were out there for almost two hours. Two hours of reconnecting and relaxing and escaping from the reality of our collective lives right now.

Still, no meteors. Eventually the conversation overtook the sky watching and then, it happened! Or, I think it happened. Maybe.

I’m pretty sure I saw a lone shooting star (meteor, whatever) in my peripheral vision. I realized it was like looking for love. It seems that when you try really hard it eludes you, but when you relax and allow yourself to be present without that singular focus, the world opens up.

I think there’s a lesson there. Be present, count your blessings, and those shooting stars will appear in their own good time.


4 Comments

Still Here, Day Number I Have No Idea

Yesterday morning I had a virtual class meeting with my kiddos. It was so great to see them. Some of the kids come to every live meeting we have, and some haven’t been to any.

I miss their faces. I miss their hugs. I miss their jokes. I miss their quirks. I miss the sparkle in their eyes when something “clicks” for the first time. download.jpg

I’ve been working on becoming a National Board Certified Teacher, and part of the process includes filming myself teaching. I have to then analyze and reflect on the lesson, and answer a whole long list of questions about what I did, how I did it, why I did it, what the results were, what those results tell me, and what my plan is for moving forward. I was reviewing one such lesson, and it struck me how different live teaching is with what we’re trying to do now.

In a classroom, so many of those choices comes naturally with experience. We make decisions based on what we know is best for kids, and what we know about individual students. This online format we’ve shifted to has taken that away.

I know there are experienced online educators who would argue that they have close relationships with their students and are able to make those types of assessments and adjustments via distance learning. Maybe they can. If so, I tip my hat to them. I, however, am struggling with it. Assigning a story and some comprehension questions, then offering some feedback on the written work, is NOT how I teach. It’s not best practice, and it’s not interesting or engaging for students. On the other hand, trying to assign cooperative learning opportunities or open-ended assignments just isn’t reasonable right now.

I have to take the victories where I can. Today one of my kiddos whom I hadn’t seen since before Spring Break showed up on our class feed. Oh happy day!

Tomorrow we’ll do another live chat, and I won’t worry about their oral reading fluency levels, their understanding of plural possessives, their ability to multiply fractions, or their understanding of the Homestead Act. Tomorrow I’ll listen to them talk about pets and bike rides and legos and little brothers and sisters. Tomorrow I’ll look at their art work and listen to their jokes, and let them know that I miss them. Tomorrow is for connecting with their hearts; their academics will catch up later.


Leave a comment

Confessions of a Cooped Up Teacher 4

Day 18: April 8, 2020

unnamed-1

Walking the dog. Walking her again. And again. And again.

Hours at the dining room table, covered in papers, notebooks, sticky notes, and tech.

Bleary-eyed from wearing glasses for so many hours of the day. Remind me to get my eyes examined. After.

Cooking from the freezer and the pantry. Weighing the urge to pick up groceries against the fear of picking up the virus, and deciding to stay home. To stay safe.

Learning to use Zoom, then not using Zoom. Learning to use Google Meet, then learning how to get rid of that echo. That horrible echo. Learning how to conduct online meetings with nine year olds who are just happy to see one another, and hopefully me.

Learning to sleep through the night in spite of my increased anxiety. Learning to avoid napping in the afternoon as an escape (which in turn messes up the sleeping at night).

Trial and error creating masks. Wearing my mask. Making one for my sweetheart and my son and his roommate and my aunt… Being productive. Helping. At least in a small way.

Appreciating nail technicians. Pedicures are so much more than the polish. I always tip them well, it’s a job I would not want, but I will tip more when I go back. After.

Thinking about everything I see and read in terms of social distancing. Starting to get anxious on those dog walks. Even while wearing my mask.

Appreciating my home. Knowing I have it easy. Appreciating the safety and space and comfort it provides. Appreciating my job and my sense of purpose. Appreciating others who are doing far more and making do with far less.

Waiting. Waiting for this thing to wrap up. For it to stop taking lives. For it to stop interfering with lives. For it to stop ruining lives. Waiting for it to end. Waiting to see the world come alive again.