End-of-Summer Nightmares


My schedule has been changed and I’ve been given a completely new course for which no one will give me any guidelines. The guidelines exist, of course, and I will be expected to adhere to them, but I don’t know what they are. 

I arrive at school only to find that the teachers’ parking area has been changed. I’m not sure where I’m supposed to park and if I spend much more time driving around I’m going to be late and my students will be unsupervised. 

One of my students is distraught and is trying to explain to me why she’s so upset. I want to listen to her and give her my attention, but it’s during the middle of class and has interrupted instruction and it’s not fair to neglect the other students to focus on her.

We have a fire drill. I take roll and a student who should be present is not.

I was supposed to cover classes for a colleague, and I forgot. Everyone else has to pitch in because I didn’t follow through on what I said I would do. 

I ask students to take out their books, and they tell me that I was supposed to pass the books out but I never did, and I realize that they are right and that we can’t study the essay I have in my lesson plans because I did not bring the books and it is all my fault.

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Settle Down, 2020!

So, I want to preface this by saying that I’m safe. We’re all safe at my house. While it stormed badly last night, we didn’t get hit by any of the tornadoes.


My husband woke me up late last night and we sat in the hallway that connects the bedroom in our house, because it’s the only place that doesn’t have windows. (We don’t have a basement.) We waited, listening to the wind roar through the trees outside.

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Purpose, Depression, and Self-Care

Teaching remotely has been challenging. That sounds like a bad thing, but challenges are opportunities, despite often being unpleasant to go through. Some of that opportunity is the freedom to explore what I think should be accomplished in the courses I teach and why I think those things matter.

But at the same time, there’s a bit of resentment that comes with that, because I know that freedom isn’t going to last. A lot of the online programs that I’m getting to try out are offering access only for this school year. After that it’ll be proposals and purchase orders and budgets. It’s exhausting. Just thinking about all of the hoops teachers have to jump through to get to do something new or different is discouraging. I understand that it’s important to consider decisions like that carefully; I definitely support wanting to make informed decisions. But it’s also an awful lot of work for something that may not even happen.

And that then chips away at my sense of purpose. Why should I bust my tail developing plans and activities for something that’s so temporary? I have curricular materials that work well; anything new that I develop will have to take the place of something else. Moreover, the learning environment will be different, so I’ll need to adjust the plans for that as well.

Why bother?

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