Back to school 2020…….not what I envisioned

If you would have told me back in March that this is how my first day back to teaching my college freshmen, I would have never believed you.

March 11, 2020-My last day teaching in person, but I didn’t know that. We knew that a few local colleges were going remote for a few weeks, but we never thought our little college would. My students and I were joking and laughing as they left, and I told them I would see them next class.

Spring 2020 led me to being home with my kids full time while also teaching my college freshmen and working on their research projects with them.

Still I thought that everything would be fine by June……..we would be fine to fly to Key Largo after baseball season ended. Then spring sports canceled, and we didn’t know what we were in for.

By May when summer festivals and carnivals were canceling, I became very anxious wondering what was going to happen. Would this affect school? What was going to happen? We wore our masks and were careful.

Once it hit June, I really began to question what would happen with fall sports and school.

I really wanted to go back to teaching in August. I needed to get out of the house and wear normal clothes and think about commas and MLA style citations.

I am usually very optimistic and sometimes even naive. I went in all ready to teach Monday morning with my mask and hand sanitizer.

I wasn’t prepared………wasn’t prepared for those 18 year old faces strapped behind masks looking at me. I wasn’t prepared for how many students would not have their negative covid tests back and couldn’t come to class yet due to the tests taking much longer than they had earlier in the summer. I wasn’t prepared for how sad I was going to feel worrying that I was following all the protocols right and going up the right staircase and staying to the right when I’m walking.

Maybe I should have been more realistic about what the semester was going to look like. Maybe I was just too excited to teach in person finally again.

All I know is that the first week of school is always tiring and exhausting, but it is usually very exciting and exhilarating when I think about all the awesome things my freshmen and I will accomplish over the semester.

But the first week of school for 2020 is not as hopeful. I really hope we can have a good semester despite all the challenges this pandemic has thrown at us. I am still holding out hope……..

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