Heartbreak all over again

Discussion in 'General Education' started by DamienJasper, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Companion

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    Aug 14, 2020

    Spent most of the summer trying to drag myself out of the anger and sadness of the Spring. I was there. I had/have a good quarter/half semester ready to go and a good routine. I'd gotten my class schedules, including "office hours" for an all digital section for the students whose parents chose that option. Had a few T's to cross and I's to dot, but I was in a far better position than most. Felt like "Mr. Hughes" was back.

    THEN

    Today the school board of my district elected to push the beginning of the school year, digital AND physical, after Memorial Day. Reason being; NOW they decided masks are going to be mandatory (after saying they wouldn't be JUST TWO WEEKS AGO) and that means they believe parents are going to want to make switches (some who don't want their kids in school where masks are required so want to go all online, and some who will be ok with their children in a building now that the masks are a thing) so they want 2 more weeks to readjust schedules and have teachers 'get ready' (kinda like I've been saying we should have been doing all summer...).

    I feared back in the Spring that I was never going to teach another student. Feels like that's happening. Feel like in two weeks, they're going to push it back AGAIN. Why we can't start the year with the all-digital model we've been working on since May? Hell if I know. Then it'll be "well, we'll have to wait until October", then it'll be "Let's see what happens by Thanksgiving break", etc. I feel like before long they're just going to furlough us, since we're not "doing anything on contract". After furlough comes...

    Honestly, this is the sort of thing that makes me want to give up, wither away, and just...you know.
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Aug 14, 2020

    I said I needed to crawl under my desk and breathe into a paper bag for awhile while I processed all the changes. I’m a planner, and I like to have it planned WAY ahead of when I need it. Well, we all know how what is working this year. I’ve done this long enough to know that it will all work out one way or another, but geez . . .

    I’m also stressed for DH because they changed his teaching assignment last week. He’s not stressed about it. He’s more of a roll with the punches kind of guy. He can also retire after this year. I’m sure that helps. :p
     
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  4. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Aug 15, 2020

    I’m sorry. It’s been such a stressful summer and things are constantly changing for us too. It’s awful and anxiety-provoking for sure. By the way, is that your real last name? If so, I definitely recommend removing it!

    Our student start was pushed back a week too, but they won’t push it back any further. They are required to educate kids, however that’s happening.
     
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  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 15, 2020

    My district also pushed back the start date by a week, but it won't get pushed back any further. And it truly was necessary, as class lists and teaching assignments need to be completely reconfigured. Plus, we do need PD. As I mentioned in another thread awhile back, we have received no direction from admin about what our teaching will look like (synchronous, asynchronous, etc.). I'll "get ready" when they start telling me what to "get ready" for.
     
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  6. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    We got extra PD too, but it’s unwisely just more useless stuff like online trainings in basic classroom management. Nothing on anything relevant to online teaching or how to actually use our software or the new technology they’re expecting we have set up that they still haven’t given us access to. And we’ve also gotten very little and very contradictory info on what’s expected:

    Record your lessons, but we won’t tell you how, but record for the whole 60 minutes, but you don’t have to record the whole thing. Students are required to be there at class time but they’re not actually required so also post prerecorded lessons. You’re required to be there the whole time with your camera on but it’s okay if your camera isn’t actually on the whole time. They need to turn in classwork on time but remember they need flexibility so let them turn in things as late as they need to. Don’t fail them but make sure you’re grading just like you’d grade in class. Classes should be interactive and use lots of group work and discussion but no names or student voices should be heard when you’re recording, and they can’t do breakout groups because they’re not monitored.

    They’re the most confusing instructions and it’s completely unclear what they are looking for.
     
  7. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Aug 16, 2020

    Are you alright? It sounds like this is stressing you really a lot. I hope they don't furlough you, and that if they do you have somewhere else to go.

    Might be a good idea to strategize on what to do if certain events occur...
     
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  8. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Companion

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    Aug 16, 2020

    No; very much not alright.

    And no; nowhere to go if THAT happens. Honestly; where is there TO go?
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 17, 2020

    When I moved to my current school, our start of the year was crazy. We didn't have access to the building (new build) until the Friday before classes started. There were interior windows missing; desks and chairs needed to be assembled; the gymnasium wasn't finished until mid-October. The stress level was high and our principal kept reminding us of the importance of the "f-word"--"flexibility". I've been thinking about that a lot the past several months. Plans are changing daily and there is a lot of anxiety tied to the unknown. I'm trying to recognize that there is very little that I can control outside of my own reactions. Our students start on the 8th of September; as of right now, we are face-to-face with regular class sizes. This week, I'm going to rough out my first units in math and literacy. I've been teaching a long time, so I'm not starting from scratch. I'm going to make some changes that will work with: attempts at distancing (so no group or partner work), the ability to switch to online if need be, and the ability to switch specific content if my grade level changes at the last minute.

    I hope that you have someone to reach out to to help you manage your anxiety; being able to talk with someone helps immensely. Please take care of yourself, recognize that there are many things beyond your control right now, and try to focus on what you can control.

    Edited to add: Please investigate any mental health supports that are offered by your district and take advantage of them. They have made all of the difference for some dear friends of mine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
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  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Aug 17, 2020

    What do you mean push back after Memorial day? Do you mean Labor Day? Why would you just furloughed just by moving the start date? You need to chill out and find some way to get your act together because I don't know how you're going to teach at all acting like Doomsday is upon us. Many people are going through the same thing you but you're the only one who is acting like the sky is falling. Don't panic about everything. Do one thing at a time one day at a time.
     
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  11. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Aug 17, 2020

    I agree. It's overwhelming but much easier to manage if you focus on only one step at a time.
     
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  12. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Aug 17, 2020

    Today is our first day. We are starting 100% distance. I am nervous and excited, which is my usual first day state. Focus on what you have to do today, and what needs to be ready for tomorrow. Good luck to us all.
     
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  13. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Aug 17, 2020

    That's sad. In normal times I might suggest getting a bartender's license just to make sure you can fall back on something, but now that won't really work. Maybe look at some self-improvement on Coursera or Udemy?
     
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  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Aug 17, 2020

    I’m currently sitting in a room at a hospice care center with my mom. Suddenly all the school stuff I have been stressing out over seems far less important.

    People say to take it day by day, but sometimes it is even minute by minute. But it will be okay.
     
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  15. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Aug 18, 2020

    I am assuming that you mean Labor Day, not Memorial Day.

    It doesn't surprise me that a district is making last minute adjustments. A few months ago most people were thinking or at least hoping that by now the situation would abate. People also tend to have a different perspective when they are far away from a situation and change their perspective when they get closer. Things that weren't concerning prior now become an intense focus.

    Here is the positive in all of this. If they didn't push the date and went back and tried to make all of the changes while trying to have the kids adjusting the schedule, it would have been even more of a mess. Your district may be trying to find a way to keep the kids from leaving thus allowing more teachers to be able to keep their jobs because they will be meeting the needs of the families meaning more students will stay enrolled in the district.

    The other thing is that you should be all prepared for whatever happens because you spent all summer "getting ready" for whatever was to come.
     
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  16. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Aug 18, 2020

    Hugs.
     
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  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 18, 2020

    Hugs, Ima. Keeping you close in my thoughts.
     
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  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    There are a lot of unknowns in my new district. I am feeling more stressed out than I have felt any other year of teaching. Even so, I recognize that there are about a million things that are entirely beyond my control. I am choosing to focus on the things that I can control. I've got my home office/classroom mostly set up. I'm making various to-do lists (in particular, making to-do lists makes me feel more in control and less anxious). I'm participating in whatever PD I can find that I think will be useful. Beyond that, whatever is going to happen is going to happen. The best teachers learn to bloom wherever they are planted.
     
  19. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I've read several articles lately that emphasize the fact that we are all first year teachers this year. No matter what model the district has adopted, we are all having to teach in ways that we haven't before. I shared this article with my colleagues. We always need a strong support system; this year, it's even more important.
     
  20. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    This is 1 of the things I have heard the most anxiety and anger over by teachers who are F2F.
     
  21. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Aug 22, 2020

    F2F?
     
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  22. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Comrade

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    Aug 23, 2020

    Face to face?
     
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  23. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    CA got it! face to face..:)
     
  24. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Aug 23, 2020

    Ah. Okay. Got it. :)
     
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  25. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    Aug 23, 2020

    I am really sorry! I just noticed this. Yes, school stuff is far less important. You'll never regret a second of the time you are there. <3
     

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