Dear Diary,

Today at 11am ten years ago, I married my best friend. Over the summer, we discussed how I felt about this – he’s my best friend. For him, I am his wife, and he has other best friends. To him, wife holds a different place in his mind and heart. I saw the evidence of this belief when I read his message to me honoring our anniversary this morning. We are two different birds, and I will always consider him my best friend.

At 11am today, I was finishing up a 1st grade lesson about line types.

Most of the morning gave me such positive vibes about how smoothly technology was working for me today, then during the 4th class, with the youngest of the grades this morning, that’s when the technology glitches began. It was a good run up to that point.

On my drive to school today, I witnessed for the first time this year the transition of seasons displayed by the warmness of colors taking over the tree branches. Fall is my favorite time of the year and the beauty that will soon surround us in Central Pennsylvania is only one of the many treasures that Fall gifts to us.

I had absolutely no time this week to work on my digital lessons or Google Classroom presentations. You know what that means….another weekend of housework pushed off, domestic duties partially tended to, and too many instances of my family’s needs being set aside. I just can’t balance it all right now. I’m even falling behind on my original plan – to have the next cycle of lessons completed and posted to GC, ready to go. I’m finishing up my 3rd cycle Monday, and my 4th cycle is nowhere near ready for publishing.

Everyday I listen to stories of frustrations, joys, and concerns in educators’ lives because of the situation we are in during this historic pandemic. These accounts come from both in-person conversations and on social media. There are too many teachers who have reached their breaking points, have had anxiety creep in during class and take over, or have stated, “I’m over it. I’m done with this remote-teaching. I just can’t anymore.” But here’s the thing. We must continue to persist through these problems because there is no other option for us at this time. Eventually the burnout in the classroom will flow into home life, if it hasn’t already, and the teachers will be in complete despair. I’ve been there, and the burnout was so severe that I wanted to quit teaching on a number of occasions, but I deep down I knew that teaching was my thing. My solution: change positions. So far, it has worked for me. That and being more intentional about my mental health and well-being. At the same time and on the contrary, while I am rocking taking care of myself (according to my therapist this week), I am also having a challenging time managing the responsibilities of my profession during COVID.

I spoke too soon. I had a visitor in one of my classes today. She patiently waited, as I knew she would when I saw her. She is a former artist of mine, and was seeking my assistance in memorial project for a former colleague. Unfortunately, I had to cut our visit short because my in-person audience was a group of 7 year olds, and they are not as patient as my pervious high school artists in the same situation.

When my day ended, I was ready to get moving. The warm summery feel of the sun at recess paired with nonstop moving around classrooms and the building today has worn me out!