Day 17 for me.

Dear diary,

Bam. Fire drill almost immediately after my first class began this morning. Thankfully, our principal announced the drill and classes have been preparing for the event. The building also has access to a detailed and thorough spreadsheet of every exit, every team member, and their responsibilities, so I could also feel prepared going into the drill.

The fire drill this morning: dreamy. It was so well orchestrated that it was like a passing dream, but thankfully it was reality. Orderly, quiet, focused, everything that an emergency drill should be in order to prepare for the real situation.

Daily, it seems, there is something that creeps up with remote-teaching, technology, or including literacy resources into the elementary program that forces me to immediately detour my already planned route of instruction. All of these happened in one 45-minute class period today. I had a moment of pure joy, and felt that awesome sensation of goosebumps when my class reminded that we had forgotten to recite our artist mantra before artmaking. Also in that same class, I felt utterly helpless and wanted to throw in the towel when (1) the class informed that the inspiration for my lesson had already been covered, (2) when I had difficulty transitioning from my open and ready laptop to the classroom desktop that was hardwired to the projector, (3) which also included many interruptions from the artists trying to get my attention despite having a task in front of them, (the artists just wanted to show me the fruit of their work while I was trying to take care of the planted seeds, if that makes sense), (4) less time of instruction and artmaking because of everything going wrong, and (5) the overabundance of dull colored pencils needing sharpened and people fighting over the sharpener. (All I wanted was to offer an extra supply that they didn’t have in their toolboxes).

Double recess duties and lunch followed, thankfully, and the fresh air helped to clear my mind of my previous troubles. Onward to the constant reminders of masks over the nose and mouth, wearing masks when close to friends, and keeping a safe distance from others. It warmed up a bit for recess, which caused my fingers to swell. My wedding ring was stuck on my swollen finger and uncomfortable for a while.

A quick note – earlier this morning, one of my artists chose to draw a fairy garden to align her composition with the spatial grounds we studied. She made sure to tell me that she had a fairy garden at home, which she drew upon for her inspiration, and a real fairy took up residence there. For real.

At the end of the day, my kindergarten artists created drawings that incorporated play-based learning connections, using their personal toys from recess to draw. One of the little artists drew Anna from the movie “Frozen.” Just when she thought she was finished, she said to me, “Ooo…I forgot her boobs!” Thankfully it was a quiet conversation between the two of us and not loud enough for the entire community of artists to hear.

Before I could leave my building, I had a virtual department leadership meeting to attend. I totally broke the rule and had major backlight in my camera view, so all that could be seen was my darkened silhouette. I probably should have turned off my camera.

Exhausted doesn’t even cut it right now.

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