Day 6 for me.

I can see it on social media. I read the concerns. The frustrations of new COVID protocols. Everything has changed. Recess, lunch, lining up, helping friends, playing, interacting, dismissing from schools, keeping a safe distance from our friends, loading the bus, passing out materials, handwashing, handwashing, handwashing. Everything. My friends who are parents of young children, I am a parent, too. I so want to oversee a recess that has complete freedom, kids playing with each other, holding hands, racing and playing tag, games of kickball, jump rope. I want this for my own children, too. My 8-year old daughter desperately wants to hug her friends after such an extended break from them since March. And my 5-year old son doesn’t understand why he can’t play next to his new friends. I can’t wait until we can have a pre-COVID recess. I can’t wait.

Yesterday I was in a classroom of a teacher who had her own child as a student. Our girls are friends. Bless their hearts for being able to have not only the relationship between mother and daughter, but also that of teacher and student. Homework with my own daughter is painful. For the both of us. I can’t even imagine teaching her full time and being as successful as my colleague.

What’s that miss first grader? Why am I only wearing one sock? Hmm….well, miss first grader, I just have no idea how to explain to you what a compression stocking is and what it really does, but I can tell you that had I worn both in the pair like I’m suppose to, I wouldn’t have gotten that awful blister on my foot yesterday.

I am in awe of how creative art teachers have become all over the world. Well, we have always been creative, but our creative problem-solving skills have now become superpowers.

Will my mask leave a weird tan line or shape from the constant sunny recess duties? If so, will it be around for school picture day? I sure hope not.

Two. That’s the number of redlights on my commute to my 3rd school from my home. It’s about 50 miles one-way, and takes about that long traveling along mostly scenic views. For 11 years I carpooled with my colleagues on the final stretch of road, but today, I am alone. I am eager to join some of my friends again on this drive, but for today, 90s alternative rock is keeping me company.

This morning I had a young artist describe his fishing themed artwork, then told me a story about a time when his grandfather was peeing in the weeds and a snake popped out and bit him while he was peeing. Thankfully, those were the only details of the bite.

Another young artist must have been feeling extra testy before lunch. Luckily I was able to pull out the competition card that I use on my own son of the same age. I ran out of tricks when he rolled up his artwork and screamed at me through it.

Next cycle I’ll be teaching rules, consequences and routines. After a week of kinders and 1st graders, I have realized that I could have introduced that in a little snippet on the 6 first days I’ve taught to 30 classrooms.

I am incredibly thankful for the Art Room Glitter Fairy. Her real name is Sara Krajewski, an elementary art teacher, who incorporates mindfulness practices into her instruction. I have been teaching her Artist Mantra for the last 5 days to K-4, and it is one of my favorite activities to teach. I hope that my artists always believe in themselves like I do.

I am so tired. Recess was blistering. I have almost closed my “Move” and “Stand” rings on my Apple Watch by 3pm.

My husband confessed that he taught for 20 minutes in class today before he realized that his laptop microphone was muted. The remote-learners were forgiving, but they missed a good history lecture.

Today’s kindergarten class rocked! They were engaged as if they were seasoned students. Kudos to that kinder teacher!

Shortly after I arrived home for the day, my husband relayed a text message to me that he received: “Tell your wife to go check the front porch.” What a delightful surprise! I found a bouquet of flowers, a 6-pack of beer (for my husband) and a bottle of Pinto Grigio. A note read, “You are not alone in your struggle. Much love and alcohol. – A friend.” This was incredibly sweet. This is why I’m documenting my journey with all of you. We are not alone in this.

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