Day 16 for me.

Dear diary,

Mid-morning snack time. I thought I’d jot down a few notes before digging into my major work.

Sometimes I wish that I could just give up on this remote-teaching gig because I don’t know when to expect my mastery of it, and predict that mastery is not even in the cards. One of my artists was trying to join my Google Meet to check in earlier, but I had completely forgotten about remote-anything when I began the class. The homeroom teacher stopped in maybe 20 minutes into class and shared that the artist was waiting and trying to get into GC. I stopped what I was doing and opened up my link, but nobody was there but me staring at myself in the screen. I kept checking in during the remaining class time, but still, no artist joined.

This morning a heated debate occurred in 2nd grade over the “realness” of superheroes, mermaids, and Bigfoot. I hate it when my own young children ask about these kinds of characters, and to be honest, sometimes I just want to spill the beans and tell them there’s no such thing as Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and all of those others that I have to constantly lie to them about.

At this school, there is an active investigation to determine the who, what, when, where, and how, of a mess of paper towels being left on bathroom floors. In my former secondary school, I recall bathroom incidents of a different nature, and I am glad that at the elementary level, it’s only paper towels on the floor causing the detective work.

I had forgotten the balance between the seriousness and fun of learning at the elementary level. I love it. I love being welcomed by young artists as I enter their classroom door, but sometimes they are quickly reminded from their teachers to practice good behavior as I prepare my studio materials. Teachers are rarely interrupted by a visitor at the door. No students from other classes requesting art supplies on the spot. Nobody wondering if they can borrow a laptop charger from a friend. I have not been interrupted one time in the 3 full weeks I have been an elementary art teacher this year for any given reason. This establishes a strong sense of value for my teaching and learning time. I appreciate this.

When I removed my mask at the end of my day, I felt something brush against my mouth that didn’t belong. As I pulled away the mask, I saw something small and golden in color. All I could think of was, “really, Jess? Just like the kids. You have boogers inside of your mask?” Upon further inspection, I observed a glassy appearance of this golden object and realized that it was a small piece of candy that had chipped off and got stuck to my mask. How did that even happen?

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