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Distance Learning and Profound Sorrow

Well, teaching during a pandemic has proven to be very interesting as any teacher or parent can attest to right now.

(my new teaching setup)

Let me start with a few points of gratitude. I am extremely fortunate to still have income and thankful for all online platforms. I am also very grateful, from the bottom of my heart, to all the teachers who are turning themselves inside out to throw together some sense of normalcy for the kids and parents who need it, even as they're homeschooling their own kids.

Also.

I didn't become a teacher to sit at a desk job.

I'm trying to hold my gratitude along with the sorrow and it is hard.

As most educators tend to think, I have the best students ever. I left the classroom almost 13 years ago and do private tutoring now, so I have kids of all ages.

The teenagers I'm working with now think this tech is no big deal. They're bored and grouchy and EVERY one of them thinks that their parent is the meanest parent in the world if they're making them adhere to the shutdowns. And they're scared and acting out in normal teenage ways.

The little kids think this tech is AWESOME. They feel grown-up on conference calls and when I'm able to do group sessions, they love seeing their friends. We have fun banter and I try to give them virtual high-fives and I applaud them and act silly just like I do during tutoring.

They don't know that I get off these sessions and cry.

This will probably change. Humans can adapt and overall, teaching online is not a hardship. But I'm trained to teach elementary school. I hug, I lean over and adjust their pencil grip, I high five them, I let them pet the dog. I do jumping jacks with them for a break. This is not what any of us need.

But it's better than nothing.

Thank you, teachers everywhere. You weren't prepared, you weren't adequately trained, and you can't do what your heart is telling you to do. But you are giving your all for the kids, as always.

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