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As School Begins

Every year when school begins, I feel a tug be in the classroom. Even after being retired from teaching for ten years, I miss elementary-age students.  I miss morning greetings and young brains ready to take on the day.  I miss the gleam in students’ eyes when they understand long division or master the challenge of writing a persuasive essay.  I miss sitting in a circle with a few kids as we take turns reading aloud and then talk about a story.  

            No two days in a classroom were the same. Daily schedules for lunch and recess and math and Science were constant and weekly schedules for music and physical education classes rarely change and often the state grade-level curriculum didn’t change.  So, what made each day different and fun?  The students. 

            I really like retired life so I think just a few days with twenty kids could be fun, but not this year. Not when COVID19 threatens. I’ve even said that I’m thankful I’m not teaching and if I were in charge of the world this school year would be a do-over, a transition year

            When I taught 4th and 6th graders, we studied a poem entitled, If I Were in Charge of the World by Judith Viorst, and students wrote their own poems.  If I were in charge, this school year would be a transition year like T-1 classes between kindergarten and first grade. A year as a T-1 student helps six-year olds who’ve spent a year in kindergarten, but aren’t quite ready for first grade.  This extra school year helps young students be strong learners, strong readers.This could be a Transition Year for all students, but I know that’s impossible so how can I and others help teachers and students?

            Reach out. Pray. Be tolerant.

            Reach out to someone you know or someone who is a friend of a friend or anyone. Send encouraging hand-written notes and post positive comments on social media. Tell teachers that you know their jobs are difficult and you appreciate their efforts.

             Pray. Teri, a retired principal asked on FaceBook, “Anyone else Parking, Praying Everyday?” She was referring to the PPE campaign,Park & Pray Every day. Driving past a school?  Pull in, park and pray for the children, the teachers, the staff. Driving past a school bus lot?  Park and pray for the bus drivers. Driving near the administration building?  Park and pray for the leaders.  Park and Pray Every day or just voice a split-second pray as you drive past a school.

            Be tolerant as teachers experiment with new ways to teach.  No kindergarten teacher ever expected to lead five-year-olds in rhymes remotely. Science is best learned hands-on; not watching a video.  While teachers often welcome opportunities to try new teaching methods, there are usually best practices to follow.  But not this year.

            This school year beginning is unique. Nothing – not college classes, not in-service programs, not experiences – has prepared anyone to teach in the middle of a pandemic.  Let’s let teachers know we support them. #####

            No two days in a classroom were the same. Daily schedules for lunch and recess and math and Science were constant and weekly schedules for music and physical education classes rarely change and often the state grade-level curriculum didn’t change.  So, what made each day different and fun?  The students. 

            I really like retired life so I think just a few days with twenty kids could be fun, but not this year. Not when COVID19 threatens. I’ve even said that I’m thankful I’m not teaching and if I were in charge of the world this school year would be a do-over, a transition year

            When I taught 4th and 6th graders, we studied a poem entitled, If I Were in Charge of the World by Judith Viorst, and students wrote their own poems.  If I were in charge, this school year would be a transition year like T-1 classes between kindergarten and first grade. A year as a T-1 student helps six-year olds who’ve spent a year in kindergarten, but aren’t quite ready for first grade.  This extra school year helps young students be strong learners, strong readers.This could be a Transition Year for all students, but I know that’s impossible so how can I and others help teachers and students?

            Reach out. Pray. Be tolerant.

            Reach out to someone you know or someone who is a friend of a friend or anyone. Send encouraging hand-written notes and post positive comments on social media. Tell teachers that you know their jobs are difficult and you appreciate their efforts.

             Pray. Teri, a retired principal asked on FaceBook, “Anyone else Parking, Praying Everyday?” She was referring to the PPE campaign,Park & Pray Every day. Driving past a school?  Pull in, park and pray for the children, the teachers, the staff. Driving past a school bus lot?  Park and pray for the bus drivers. Driving near the administration building?  Park and pray for the leaders.  Park and Pray Every day or just voice a split-second pray as you drive past a school.

            Be tolerant as teachers experiment with new ways to teach.  No kindergarten teacher ever expected to lead five-year-olds in rhymes remotely. Science is best learned hands-on; not watching a video.  While teachers often welcome opportunities to try new teaching methods, there are usually best practices to follow.  But not this year.

            This school year beginning is unique. Nothing – not college classes, not in-service programs, not experiences – has prepared anyone to teach in the middle of a pandemic.  Let’s let teachers know we support them. #####

One Response

  1. While reading this my Great Nephew’s son is starting pre-k this year. In his class are 15 girls 1 set of twins, 5 boys which has 1set of twins and their brother who is only 10 Mo’s older and all their birthdays fell in the same category. The twins and their brother came to his son’s birthday this last Sunday and mother even dresses all 3 alike. We all had a pity party while there for the poor teacher. I do not think 1 aid is not going to be enough help.

    Like

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