This morning presented itself with challenges.
During arrival/student drop-off duty, I realized that it was so chilly that my glasses fogged up, and remained fogged for the 20 minutes as I helped kids out of cars, sanitizing my hands in between greetings, of course, and directing them to their specified grade level door entrances. I also discovered that it’s cold enough in the morning a light jacket or a sweater and to wear gloves. My hands were cold, especially as they were constantly wet from hand sanitizer. I probably looked ridiculous.
One of my three morning lessons went off without a hitch as far as technology goes. Remote learners checked in at the beginning of the class. I usually spend at least 5 minutes for check-in, and directing the artists where to find our Studio Work on Google Classroom. Sometimes they submit their finished artwork, but most times, not. I’m planning to start assessing learning as early as next cycle, so I hope I start receiving more submissions.
For the other two classes, I am glad that I brought a back up plan because in one room, the projector only picked up my laptop’s colorful desktop; no folders, icons, or all of the instructional online tools I had planned for both my remote and in-person lessons were unavailable. In the next class, I would have had to use the computer of the teacher, but to save on time, I did not. I would have had to log in to my account, bring up all of the tools I had already open and ready on my traveling teaching station, and simply figured that I couldn’t use anymore time for that. My check-in with the remote learners for that class took a little longer than anticipated, and our artmaking time was a little shorter because of some unexpected happenings.
My camera wouldn’t work for any of my Google Classroom Meets today. I bet if I restarted my computer, it will help, but I honestly don’t have time to do that. I apologized to all of the remote-learners about this issue.
Thinking on our feet is an unofficial credential of teachers required in their profession, especially when things crop up like the aforementioned, while being in front of a room full of very young children. Most times, the kids are patient and generous with their time as they wait for their in-person class time to begin, but not always.
Recess was a little chilly today, and luckily my glasses did not remain constantly fogged as this morning; however, every time I breathed into my mask, may glasses fogged like crazy. Recess weather was pleasant today. I walked around as much as possible, taking it all in.
During intermediate recess, we, the teachers on duty, observed quite the bittersweet moment as the kids spread out into a large, socially distant circle, leading each other in handstands, cartwheels, and other tricks. The recess was reminiscent of our childhoods, when we had to make due with what we had and create games to entertain ourselves. Some of the boys brought out matchbox cars and created worksites in the grass.
Lunch arrived immediately after recess, and at this school, I always feel like it’s the shortest period of time I have in my day. On this lunch break, I received a message from the district superintendent from the district in which we live. One of the elementary schools decided to temporarily close because of positive COVID-19 cases. (My husband and I work in a neighboring district.) We are fortunate that it is not the elementary school where our children attend, but the itinerants are shared – in each school through the district. I’m an itinerant. Do you get what I’m thinking…?
I made some good attempts at cleaning up the pile of boxes of art supplies that have landed in this classroom I share (with 3 other itinerants: P.E. Music, & STEM) from a variety of places. It’s such a mess, and I have been chipping away at organizing this craziness since the first day I was at the school. This is not me. I am organized. I keep my room tidy. I don’t have enough time in my day to take care of this and it bothers me.
The afternoon recess and EC classes were lovely. I did have a little kinder who was quite entertaining, and luckily, I was her only audience from her stage in the back of the room. It seemed as though she scheduled her gymnastics practice during art class. I was able to control her attention in a positive way for about 3 minutes when she helped me with an important task, but that little bit was shortlived.
There’s still more floating around in my mind, but I am tired. My wine glass is empty, and it’s time to relax.