I am super excited – the school year is winding down – and can I just say remote teaching is so so hard – and I can get back to writing. I really thought I’d have this next book done back in March. Boy was I wrong, thank you very much Covid-19. Hopefully once school ends I can get back to some serious writing.
My plan – and amazingly, I do have a plan – it to finish working on my Thinking Positive Tool Kit, and then dive back into my young adult fiction piece full steam. This was not how I planned for things to work, but as everybody knows, plans often go awry. I sincerely thought teaching from home was going to be a breeze, and parts of it were. I finally figured out how to format my lessons on google classroom in a way that worked for me, and my students. What wasn’t great was I figured it out the last week we were assigning new work to kids. My learning curve is pretty steep.
What was really hard was working with the students. We had kids with no computer access, so we were trying to create paper and pencil instructions to be delivered weekly. That all had to be collected, passed back to teachers and graded (after a quarantine period). We had families with 3 and 4 kids and one computer so kids had to stagger learning times, and we had kids who were putting in extra hours at their grocery store jobs trying to supplement their parents income. And then we had the kids that just disappeared off the face of the earth. Hours have been spent by people trying to track those kiddos down. Not just for school work purposes, but to make sure they were ok!
I’ve done lessons on zoom, I’ve done lessons on google meet, and I’ve done lessons over the phone, and I know my fellow teachers have done the same. I’ve talked with kids at 10:00 at night and received messages from kids at 2:00 a.m. because that’s when they were working and that’s when the needed help. Teaching went from a job, to a full on lifestyle. For most of us, there were no set hours, and your day didn’t end at 3:00 when the bell rang. There was no walking out of school with your bag of papers to correct. Instead we worked 24/7. It didn’t leave a lot of time for anything. It became a life. Lots of things had to give for teachers to do their job in an effective manner, and for me, one of those things was writing.
Teaching is a passion for me. It’s not just something I do. Writing is also a passion, and while normally, these two passions can co-exist, this was not one of those times. But we’re moving to the end of the school year. Lessons have ended, and we’re focusing on helping the kids with outstanding work as well as the other minutiae that fills the life of an educator.
However there was on big lesson learned from all of this. It’s okay to have a goal, and it’s okay to give yourself a deadline. Next time, I may not broadcast it quite so loudly lol. That way if it’s not met, nobody knows but me!