It’s Friday, and I’m attempting to close my jeans around my waist today. I was successful with fitting back into my pre-COVID khakis, so I thought I’d give the jeans a try. It’s a miracle! My jeans fit! And they feel good, to boot!

Sub shortage. It’s happening in this district. How about your local district?

One of my middle school classes needs help with ideation. Note to self: Incorporate and emphasis of creative thinking strategies into each media center opening.

One little guy was so wiped out this morning, that I couldn’t wake him.

My 3rd grade class today was amazingly flexible. Another incident of online learning arose at the beginning of class. As I worked with the remote-learners, I asked the rest of the class to wait patiently, and also continue working on their art folders/portfolios we started last time. They were so quiet and engaged, and after their 10 minute wait for me to rejoin the in-person part of class, I realized how our time together had dwindled.  I didn’t have enough time to follow my original lesson. I posed the question to them: “Artists, I have a question for you. I see that our time is shortened and I would like to offer you a choice for how we continue class.” (I shared my original plan and offered them the rest of our time together to continue the artwork on their portfolio designs they had begun last class. Overwhelmingly, the artists wanted to continue their portfolio work. They remained engaged the entire time, and were excited at the end when we shared during the 30-Second Spotlights.

A 1st grade artist: “Close your eyes.” I closed my eyes. “Now open them. This is me and you at a wedding.” My thought: “Was this the same kiddo who blew me a kiss and gave me an air hug last week?” Again: “Close your eyes.” I closed my eyes. “Now open them. This is me and you.” We are pictured in a red heart together with the word LOVE over us. After sharing this with another teacher, I learned that this gentleman is a ladies man, and has been charming his way around all of the adult ladies at the school since kindergarten.

God help me. God help me. God help me. God help me. This circled my thoughts in one of my EC classes, as I had to constantly remind young artists of mask wearing, calling out, getting out of seats for no reason while I was attempting to teach them, interrupting the story that was the inspiration for the lesson. God help me. God help me. God help me. God help me.  I think I said it enough times because a few minutes from the ending of class, the principal arrived ready to read a story. She gave me the okay to scoot out of there as she transitioned them. THANK YOU GOD.

As our teachers have been instructed to teach from our Google Classrooms, I have been most times. If I am not, it’s because of some unexpected difficulty. In one class, the room number for the AppleTV was nowhere to be found in the menu to project my digital GC lesson. While I was searching for the room number amongst the 50 others that appeared in my drop down menu, I accidently projected my screen to two other classrooms. Oops. Guess I’ll just have to teach like I usually do – without the constant support of a screen. It felt good.

 My to-do list for this weekend is long, and I don’t know how to tackle everything on both the schoolwork and home list, while trying to be a mom, a wife, and host our niece. I am not cut out to teach in two instructional modes at once. I wish it were one or the other, because having both responsibilities at the same time is burning me out. Not just teacher burn out, but an all-encompassing Jess burnout, if that makes sense.

Sometimes siblings of former students are such a delight. Sometimes they test you so much that you are close to pulling out all of the white hairs and then some, that they have helped to grow in your head.

I have 5 days to make sure that all of my artists are connected to my GC. That’s a lot of entering names. I have literally no idea when I can fit this into my already busy schedule. Sometimes I feel like I am drowning. This week has been a week of barely keeping my head above water. And the kicker is – there’s already so much catching up and additional work to do on my days off. Maybe I can talk my husband into hiring a cleaning crew for our home. Hahaha! No, seriously.

I ended my day and week reconnecting with colleagues of the former school from the last 11 years. We share a campus between the elementary and secondary schools. Two of my friends caught a ride home with me. It was so nice to see them!