Day 22 for me.

Dear diary,

My sticky notes have taken over in extreme numbers. If I don’t write it down, I forget. Now I have so many things written down to remember, that I forget to check the ridiculous amount of notes I have going.

One of the neighboring school districts decided to eliminate their hybrid instructional option as a result of low enrollment. I am jealous of those teachers who now get to focus their energy only on their in-person learners. What a load off of their shoulders, and what an excellent move for that district to bring a sense of normalcy, and to ease the workload of their faculty during this time. I applaud them for choosing quality over quantity. I am confident that the stress levels of their employees will decrease with this change, and the quality of education will increase.

After surviving my morning, retreating to my classroom gave me respite from the train wrecks that happened up to that point. I wonder if there’s a full moon this week, my inability to master managing my time between in-person and remote, or it could have been the anticipated extra recess that followed each of my art studio sessions with the artists this morning that had the artists amped up and out of sorts. I think that it was all of the above. My classroom management game was weak, like I was stepping into an elementary classroom for the first time. I even considered stopping in the middle of my 2nd grade’s chatter, laying on the floor, and drifting off to dreamland…not really, but, boy, was I struggling this morning.

I wish, more than you can even imagine, that I was able to hold studio time in my actual classroom. My colleagues have been generous with their own classroom spaces, some of them even telling me, “this is our room.” (I almost cried there on the spot when that teacher told me that) Regardless of their kindness and willingness to help a girl out, I am confident that I could provide a better quality art education to my artists in each of my 3 schools, if we were learning and creating together in an actual classroom studio. I would also be scrambling to get 2 of the 3 classrooms transitioned into a teachable space. Once the district decided itinerants were on a cart, I decided not to use my energy to arrange classroom spaces anymore. One of the schools is set up, one of the schools has 4 itinerants (with all of our supplies, tools, and equipment) in one classroom and is used as our office space because we travel to other rooms, and one classroom has piles of boxes, tubs, tables, chairs, and everything else sitting there, as if it were still inservice and the teachers were ready to unpack boxes and start setting up the classroom. I become stressed when I am in those last two rooms. I thrive on organization, planning, routine, etc., and I have no time right now to make that happen for those two rooms. I’m embarrassed of their appearance.   

I don’t know how to convey to you how frustrating it is to have planned something, then learn on short notice that your plan is no longer needed, then at the time your plan was planned to be executed, you wait….you wait…and then have to wing it because you actually needed your original plan, but don’t have time to do it? That happened to me today. It’s not the first time, nor the last time, but every time it happens, it’s the same frustration.

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