Monday, May 11, 2020

Thoughts on Teaching & Learning: The End of The School Year

Over the past several weeks, I have found myself doing a lot of reflection trying to get this online teaching right.  I keep meaning to get my thoughts on paper but then get caught up in the day-to-day work of teaching in this pandemic era.  I know if I can catch my breath, there is a lot to learn and reflect on during this time. So, I decided that every day in May, I will share my thoughts on Teaching and Learning.  This is Day 11.

This is our last full week of school. I knew it was coming.  I thought I was ready.  Saying goodbye and ending the school year is always hard. Usually on the last day of school, I can hardly breathe, and I don't take a full breath until the buses have pulled away. I thought this year would be different because we knew--we've known for weeks--that we wouldn't be able to say goodbye in person. And we've settled into this remote/pandemic learning.  And it's been okay.

But then I started to plan this last 7 days with my students--trying to make it feel like a celebration, but without actually being together. And it is hard.

Then I saw this tweet from Jen Schwanke:

And I realized that yes, it is like time stopped. As much as I thought we'd be out of school for more than the 3 weeks that the governor announced on March 13, I certainly assumed we'd be back at least for a bit of time. I never thought we'd never be together in our classroom again--in the room we had created together. I never thought that kids wouldn't have the chance to do those things that we ask them to do so that the goodbyes are bearable and that they leave knowing how loved they are. I never thought I'd be cleaning the room, their room, alone.  

This week, with last day virtual celebrations being planned and end-of-year checklists being shared, it hit me that we are going to have to say goodbye on Google Meet. And I got really sad. I realized that usually, during this last week of school, we clean and we talk and we read and we have extra recess and we look at old photos and that even though we can do some of this from our homes, and in Google Meet, it isn't the same.

I started meeting with kids this week--to have final celebrations and conversations. None of us know how to end the school year like this.  But we are doing our best.

I have admitted how difficult this remote/pandemic is from about day 2 but nothing has been as hard as this last week of trying to close out a year without having all the time we were supposed to have.  Dismantling something alone that we weren't finished creating together. Thanks for the warning, Jen.

1 comment:

  1. We still have three more weeks of school, but we are cleaning our classrooms. I went today. When I got home a little bit ago, I messaged a friend telling her how weird it felt. I didn't capture the feeling nearly as well as Jen did. I feel really empty tonight.


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