A “Soft” opening. Reflections running through my mind from teaching during a pandemic:

Everyone is kind and generous with his or her time. Faculty and staff continue to support one another, and help each other, despite overlooked or unthought-of kinks that lead to delays, frustrations and confusion. I’m sure all educators and schools are having these kinds of revelations, too. We problem-solve on the spot, and proceed because we have no other choice in the matter.

The learners are patient with technology as well as navigating their experience learning with classmates who are in their classroom and also tuning in through a screen.

Today I had to use a blue-tooth voice amplifier around my neck. It was awesome, and I wish it were a standard technology tool for every teacher having to wear a mask. This made it easier for our online learners to hear my voice if I couldn’t be in front of my screen, speaking directly into the laptop’s microphone. It was like a magnetic necklace. I bet that it is expensive.

Standing in front of my laptop for any amount of time is a challenge.

I am not drinking enough water. I am not drinking enough coffee. I still manage having to take frequent bathroom breaks.

Thank goodness my principal has chocolate in her office.

9am: It is pouring outside and it looks like recess will be inside today. 11:45am: Recess is outside. No rain, but puddles. These kids need fresh air. Let’s roll with it.

I am on recess duty everyday. Why didn’t I buy a whistle? Duh.

My sweet spot right now is grades 2-4. I know what it’s like to have my 5-year old son Oscar, multiplied, in the same classroom. Somehow I have more patience with other people’s children.

The elementary setting is energizing, not energy draining.

Thank goodness for slip shorts.

Oh sugar…I had remote learners during that class? I knew that, but had a bazillion things on my mind. Please forgive me!

Why does this technology have to freeze? Why does the Internet have to kick me off?

If I suck my mask into my mouth one more time! I ordered mask brackets to help with this issue. I hope it works. What? A delivery date between October 1st and Thanksgiving? And by the way, put on your masks. Everyone. Just do it. And freaking stand at least 6’ apart like we are told. Geesh.

Did I wash my hands enough today?

If anyone wants to donate individual art supplies for any of my artists, I will be oh-so grateful. We had no idea this was coming when we submitted our supply order back in January.

Again, a cart is not a classroom, nor is it a good substitute for a studio space. Art educators and their artists need access to supplies. We need to share them without worry of transmitting a virus. Oh, the virus…did I breathe in that virus somehow? I wish that the DOH would give educators a list of things to do or not worry about when we exit the building: is hand washing and cleaning my mask enough each night?

My. Last. Name. Say it with me: Made – n – ford. Made, not Mad. Ford, not ferd/furd. Made – n – ford. If that is too much, just call me Mrs. M. like the kids. If you hear someone incorrectly saying it, correct them.