The rest is silence

Discussion in 'General Education' started by DamienJasper, May 19, 2020.

  1. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    May 19, 2020

    Well, done for the year personally. Finding it difficult myself. I know I, like lots of others, didn't want the year to end this way. Just a quiet whimper.

    Nothing left to teach now. Who knows where the world will be in August? Not even sure if I'll ever see another student face to face. So now...depression sets in. Bad.
     
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  3. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Are you still technically teaching, or is school officially out for the year?
     
  4. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    Technically the last checkout day is the 26th. Next few days are just finalizing grades, room inventory and the like. Mon and Tue of this week saw the students officially coming to the school in shifts to clean out lockers, return computers and the like. Saw the last of them off a few hours ago.
     
  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    You may or may not be face to face in August. It's too soon to tell. But you will most certainly see another student face to face if you stay in teaching long-term. Let that all go. Enjoy your summer break. Take some time for yourself. Start a new hobby. Read some PD books. Reconnect with old friends. Get in shape. Find something else worthy of your time and attention now that you've been given the gift of free time.
     
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  6. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    I'll try. Thanks.

    (I'm not the only one sad it had to end this way, right?)
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I can't speak for everyone, but I'm not sad. It's not ideal way to end a school year, but I've enjoyed the time that I've had to do other things. I'm ready for my usual summer break. I'll deal with what August brings when it gets here.
     
  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Our students finished May 8th. They come in tomorrow to pick up their locker contents and promotion certificates.
     
  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    May 19, 2020

    All endings are unique in their own ways, for a multitude of reasons. This year has tried our patience, our resolve, and made many of us face fears, real or imagined, as we simply met, and dealt with a new named pathogen. If you have survived to fight the good fight in the coming year, after a break that will seem too short, then that is not sad, but reason for joy and celebration. OP, try focusing on the successes that arose out of times of seeming gloom and rising death tolls. As someone who survived the illness, I count myself lucky and blessed. Most of us are able to wonder why we lived even as we mourn those who succumbed to the disease. NJ has the second highest death toll in the US, yet we are dwarfed by the loss suffered a single state above us, NY. We have learned a great deal about what is and is not possible when dealing with this disease. We are adapting to a new normal - yet old favorites are starting to re-emerge as we learn more and understand what is and is not risky behavior. We have reason to believe that a vaccine will not be years in the making, and it will be surprising how soon our old ways of life return when protection is only a few needle pricks away. Will we embrace the vaccinations, or will a sizable portion of the population turn their backs on vaccination for reasons that don't make sense to me? I fully expect that the nearly 50% of the population that refuses the flu vaccination each year will certainly include a large portion of those who will find reasons to eschew vaccination for the COVID-19 pathogen. To each their own.

    Keep in mind, even a small whimper means that there is life, and in that, there is hope. I, for one, refuse to be pessimistic - where there is life, hope springs eternal, if only we will let it. We get to choose what we do or don't do with that hope.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
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  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    May 19, 2020

    You must love the character Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh.
     
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  11. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I’m not sad really either. I’m more bummed out that I don’t know whether I’ll be able to do many of the fun things I normally do in the summer - visit family, travel, camp. I am kind of stressed about the unknown time ahead of us. It would be nice to have a concrete plan for August. The uncertainty of the whole situation has been the hardest part for me.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
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  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I’m choosing hope over fear.

    The OP should choose joy over constant worry and anxiety.
     
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  13. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    May 20, 2020

    There are emotions involved, but sadness is not one of them.

    This year, even before the pandemic affected our country, was my most challenging year in 20 years of teaching. I dare say it was even more challenging than the year my son died.

    I will not be sad to close the books on it.
     
  14. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    OP, may I suggest that, as a newer teacher, you are caught up in the obsession that teaching can become. It is difficult to think about doing anything not education related, and each vacation leaves you at loose ends. Now is the time for you to develop a life outside of teaching. Otherwise, you will find yourself completely overwhelmed by depression when you can't be in teaching mode.
    Perhaps some professional help would be advantageous for you if you find it too difficult to disconnect?
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
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  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I think he IS Eeyore!
     
  16. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I generally try to do that, but I also recognize that anxiety (which I have in abundance) and depression (which I have seasonally/hormonally) don't always give me (or other people) a choice. (Which is why I choose to closely monitor my mental and physical health and make changes when I need to.) But it's not always as easy as choosing, the same way we can't choose for cancer to go away.
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Despite having anxiety and/or depression, your post suggests that you are aware of those tendencies and strive to find balance. OP, despite being shown that there are other ways to view things and react, chooses to cling to his anxiety/depression like a comforting blanket. We may not be able to "choose" for cancer to go away, but we can sure as hell fight it to our dying breath, thankful for every day of life up until that point. It is the embracing of anxiety and depression that has many questioning OP's outlook. If these replies makes him consider, even a small bit, that how he feels it not really the norm, which could mean he needs help, then they are not wasted.
     
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  18. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    I’ve been pretty sad. And definitely scared that teaching will fundamentally change against our will. I still have a month of “school” to go, and I am trying to remain positive, but teaching is often a victim of budgets and politics, so I worry. Mostly I really miss my students, a lot.
     
  19. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    So a few things at a time here;

    No, I don't use depression/anxiety as a comfort blanket. But I'm not going to deny that it's mostly what I'm feeling right now. You certainly don't have to read anything I post.

    Shocks me to hear any teacher say "I've liked this time because it's like an extended break". If our job is to simply push out easy, cookie cutter digital worksheets, then we're really not much use. Anyone can do that.

    Something was missed here I think by swansong. It's not the arrival of summer that's dragging me down. Last summer, I was sort of impatient to get started for this year, but I was able to use it functionally as "me" time and to formulate ideas for this year, most of which worked really well. No; it's the way this year ended. The long, joyless, march toward a really quiet finish. And for the students I did encounter on their checkout days, it hurts to not have answers for them; the world is a strange, confusing, scary place at the moment to send them back into. Lord knows how many of their parents are among the 40 million out of work and unsure what to do now. I simply don't view this whole situation as a chance to do "easy" internet teaching and take it to be a bonus, hobby time break.
     
  20. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    :)
    It sounds like you haven't enjoyed this distance learning thing. I can understand that. I can understand also that not knowing how we are going to start the school year (distance learning or not distance learning is not fun. Yes, part of me wishes that I knew the answer to that one too. This situation hasn't been easy, and if I could wish COVID-19 away, I would in a second.

    I just think you need to realize there are fairly happy people who would do anything to be you. They see you as one of the luckier ones in the world..why?
    A blind person would give anything to have your sight.
    A deaf person would give anything to have your hearing.
    A poor person in parts of Africa would give anything to be able to have 3 meals a day.
    A poor person in parts of India would give anything to have clean water from a faucet.
    A person who is sick with COVID-19 would give anything to be well and healthy.

    Each day you are given so many gifts. The largest one is every choice you make is your own decision. You always have the freedom to decide. You might say you don't have the freedom to be sad. Maybe, but you have the choice of what to do with sadness. Sadness is a wonderful opportunity to care for others. When you are sad you can make someone's day by making them a card, telling them how special they are, or a small gift.

    Today, order the book A Shining Season by James Buchanon on Amazon or another site. It is a true story of a teacher who found out he had cancer at age 24 and had 6 months to live. He taught each day in incredible pain refusing pain medication. He brought so much joy to children and others until the day he died. Life is too great of an opportunity to waste. If you are trying to be happy but can't, we live in a place where counselors, psychiatrists, and the books and articles they write are everywhere. I care about you. I do wish you the best which includes a smile.:)
     
  21. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    May 20, 2020

    I understand where you’re coming from. This is and has been hard, and sad. It really is ok to feel the way you feel right now. Perhaps what you’re feeling is empathy, for the students, and also for the world in general.
    I think many of the people posting in response to OP Might have missed his point. Maybe he has anxiety or depression, but you don’t necessarily have to have those things to feel sad and lost right now. Some people can “choose” to be happy and to take this time to enjoy new things, and that’s great. But some people feel sad right now, and maybe it’s ok to actually feel that sadness, because frankly it’s an appropriate time for that feeling. It doesn’t mean OP is a miserable grump. He’s just experiencing a normal human response to a pretty upsetting time, and he’s missing being at work because it makes him feel good to teach. At the same time, he could very well be doing fine in life, generally. Personally I have a hard time believing there aren’t many more people feeling just the way he is.
     
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  22. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    This definitely has not been a break for me. I've been working really, really hard this quarter and we've had ridiculous requirements put on us by our school.
     
  23. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Are you referring to what I said about enjoying the time that I've had to do extra things? If so, let me explain... I chose to look on the bright side. The extra time has afforded me the opportunity to engage in some PD (webinars, book studies, educational Facebook group discussions, etc.) so that I will be better prepared for next school year, in my new role. It's even allowed me to start my new role a little early, unofficially, by having the time to work with both my current team and my future team. It's also afforded me the time to deal with a medical issue that I needed to attend to but just didn't have the time to research and figure out when I was working at school full-time. I'm also very strongly an introvert, and I experience anxiety when I feel overwhelmed with work, social, and personal obligations that come with regular life. You could say that maybe I even begin to feel a little bit how you seem to be feeling now. Having downtime and time away from people who are not my immediate family and closest friends helps me to reset mentally and physically. I love teaching and being in education, and that's why I do it, but it does take a toll on my health by the end of each school year.

    So, yes, I enjoyed and appreciated the silver lining in all of this: extra self-directed time that I would not usually have. Obviously a pandemic is not something I wish we were living through, and, if I'm going to be a teacher, I'd rather be doing it in person, at a school. But I didn't get to make the decision about all of that. It was out of my control. The only thing that I could control was how I would spend my time and how I would feel about it. I chose to be grateful for it and to use it to my advantage. I certainly wasn't pushing out "cookie cutter worksheets" and, instead, went above and beyond what my district required me to do. I also took some guilt-free time for myself, and I don't think that makes me a bad or uncaring teacher.
     
  24. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

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    You're definitely not the only person shocked by those statements. So am I. Wow. I think some of us have gotten alittle too acquainted to this "easy" remote teaching/learning at home, lol.
    :(
     
  25. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    What would you suggest as the alternative? Are you suggesting that I should feel sad/upset/angry about this situation instead of looking at the bright side and making good use of this time? I’m not saying that I hope for things to continue this way permanently, but I don’t see the point in feeling bad about the cards we’ve been dealt, those that I’ve had no control over, this school year.
     
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  26. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I rather enjoyed remote teaching. My school is almost 1 to 1, and we've been using Google Classroom all year in all our classes (for several years, actually) so there's wasn't much effort involved in converting to digital. I feel like I can give better feedback to students on their work when I have time to sit with a cup of coffee and leave digital comments and remarks without being interrupted. I could conference more efficiently with students online, as well, without 37 other students there to distract us. In many ways it did feel like an extended break for me, as I worked many fewer hours and had many fewer responsibilities.
     
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  27. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Yes, but the year HAS ended so it's done with. Move on and look towards next year. Think about what you CAN do instead of what you can't do. Nobody can make you feel this way unless you allow them to. Same with any situation. It's what you are allowing. Don't let things just happen to you. MAKE things happen that you want to happen.
     

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