Thursday, September 17, 2020

Day One

I've spent hours, days, weeks and months dreading September. There were so many issues. As chapter leader, I don't feel like I've had a day off since June. How in the hell were we going to open the schools?

No one really knew. De Blasio's ridiculous plan fell apart, as anyone who gave it a cursory examination could have predicted. I remain amazed that he and Carranza could have stood behind such a senseless plan for a moment, let alone many months.

We have to be really careful selecting the next mayor. Full disclosure--I worked for and contributed to Bill de Blasio. I attended his inauguration. We're gonna need a mayor who will rid Tweed of Bloomberg's ghost. We're gonna need a mayor who will not continue to ignore the miserable state of our school facilities. 

We can't go through this again. Once is more than enough.

Then there's COVID, of course. My school is on the list of the dreaded 55. As far as I, or anyone in my school administration can tell, the only reported COVID case comes from a person who self-reported before the 8th and hasn't been in the building since March. It's entirely believable to me that the DOE could screw up something like that, because incompetence is their middle name. 

Two days ago, I went back to my education tech guru, the guy who showed me how to use both Zoom and Google Classroom on those miserable March days when we came back to be prepped by administrators, none of whom had experience with either platform. I sat in an office and he explained everything in fifteen minutes. At the time, he was a first year teacher. He's now a second year teacher, so he taught me how to use Google forms and docs within Classroom. Maybe I'll try giving quizzes or tests at some point, rather than pure writing assignments. 

The thing that surprised me most was the boost I got from seeing kids. I've been in a fairly substantial sulk these past few weeks. You know, online learning sucks, but it's better than nothing. I was very fortunate to be assigned to teach one level up from where I taught last year. As a consequence, I already know half of my students. It was great to see them again. I was really energized and happy.

I also went around and spoke with all the new students. I thanked them for coming. I don't know if I'm crazy, but it was just so cool to see these kids, even online. I think I can help them learn English, even online. It took a lot to get me out of that rut I was wallowing in, but I now feel completely unrutted. 

I hope you all feel the same, to one extent or another. It's a new, strange forbidding world, but we can find joy and fulfillment in it. We just need to look a little harder than usual.

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