I Yearn For A Day …

I yearn for a day …

  • when every sneeze and sniffle doesn’t make me wonder if I should call home,
  • when every little cough or throat clearing doesn’t make me jump back,
  • when the presence of kids from other classes doesn’t make our children stop, freeze, and/or move to the side of the hallway for fear of coming close to those in a different cohort,
  • when we don’t have to stop the wonderfulness that involves big and little kids playing outside together, for fear of mixing cohorts,
  • when we can have an eating table again, and the social connections that happen as a result,
  • when we might have a few independent spaces around the room, but not a whole classroom of tables and desks,
  • when my teaching partner, Paula, and I — along with so many other educators — don’t have to spend much of our day sanitizing, monitoring for social distancing, and ensuring adequate mask wearing,
  • when the independence that we love is not overtaken by micro-managing student behaviour, as we realize the possible safety repercussions if we are not as vigilant,
  • when “cohorts” and “social distancing” are not words used so frequently in play,
  • when the Coronavirus doesn’t become an evil villain in dramatic play, even when it is so very evil,
  • when the wonderful play and socializing that happens outside can happen again inside, without fears around distancing,
Find out more in our class blog post.
  • when we can just appreciate the creative ways that kids are connecting without worrying about if they are far enough apart,
  • and when maybe even just a smidgeon of what life was like before COVID can return.

I still love my job, our amazing kids, and everything that has been possible even in this very different school year. But some days I yearn for more. Blogging helps me process these feelings — beyond the screaming and crying that are sometimes also a part of me working things through — and then accept reality. For you see, right now, I am healthy, I am safe, and considering the health and safety of others in our care, we will continue to move ahead and do what we have been doing. Not because it’s easy. Not because it always feels right. But because safety comes first.

And so for now, I will get excited about these multiple pylons and buckets that are coming our way today, for it’s supposed to be a very rainy weekend with freezing temperatures on Monday morning. We think that we’ll have lots more ice and water to investigate then …

Coloured buckets and pylons are bringing me joy today.
Find out more in our class blog post.

and it was the incredible outdoor play this past week that brought with it a little bit of normal and a whole lot of joy. What do you yearn for right now? I hope that you find it as cathartic as I do to put these ideas out there. This might not change anything, but it does make me feel better. What about you?


8 thoughts on “I Yearn For A Day …

  1. Not because it’s easy. Not because it always feels right. But because safety comes first.

    THIS. In fact, it almost always does not feel right. Enforcing social distancing never feels right. It is developmentally inappropriate for MOST of our students. So I am constantly living in conflict with my values. Which drains my energy (from a self reg perspective). I yearn in the same way that you do, for all the same things. I feel a sense of loss. I feel grief. Communicating those feelings outside of myself – especially to other educators – is cathartic. And when it is really heavy, tears also release the cortisol. Thanks for putting it into text for all of us who needed some validation that we are not alone.

    • Thanks Nadine! I wish there was a way to “like” your comment. You summed up so many of my feelings so well here. I love your Self-Reg connection as well. I know that I might have been thinking Self-Reg while writing this post, but I never actually named it. You did. THANK YOU! There is something very cathartic about putting these feelings out there, even though nothing might change in the immediate future. Maybe knowing that we are not alone is a little bit of what we need right now.

      Good luck in the week ahead!

  2. Aviva,

    I feel this!! You wrote: “when the independence that we love is not overtaken by micro-managing student behaviour, as we realize the possible safety repercussions if we are not as vigilant”. I am the Covid Police all day long. It’s exhausting. A student of mine needs an occasional hug and I can’t stop myself because I recognize it as a true need, so I do it and then I feel like I’ve broken a major rule and I’m going to get caught. It’s not a good feeling.

    I’m relieved that spring is coming so we an enjoy a little change of pace. I yearn for trips outdoors without all the winter layers. In the meantime, I am trying to remind people to stay apart without getting too annoyed that it’s been 6 months and I’m still saying it many times every day. *sigh*

    • Thanks for the comment, Lisa! I could connect to everything you said here. It’s almost as though you were in my head along with being a part of the conversation that Paula and I had after school yesterday. Policing behaviour is exhausting, and it’s something that Paula and I try never to do in normal times. We realize that this year is anything but normal, but micromanaging student behaviour is one of the things that I find the most overwhelming.

      I’m not sure that there’s anything different that any of us can do right now. But somehow writing this post, and reading the comments from others on social media and on this post, make me feel better. They remind me that I’m not alone. I hope that others feel the same. As for why we are repeating similar things so many times over, I have to wonder if it’s because some of these rules are so contradictory to the developmental level of our students. This doesn’t make them less important or ones that we should be avoiding — again, safety comes first — but as you said, the repetition continues.


      • I think you are exactly right. Little kids are still developing their personal space bubble. They know when their own has been popped, but they don’t recognize when they may have popped someone else’s! I also think we are so easily dysregulated! The mask and the hand washing are tedious for all of us. We walk around mildly uncomfortable all day long (dry hands + all the stuff that goes along with wearing the mask). Some of our kids are getting a lot of pressure from home to be Covid-safe, while others are hearing at home that it isn’t a big deal. Different adults in the building are at different levels of concern as well, and that stress often comes out of the adult when they tell the child to put on their mask.

  3. This post resonates so much with me. I hear from students so often about the play and exploration that they remembering engaging in when they would visit the library. I miss it. They miss it.

    • Thanks for the comment, Beth! While our kids have figured out some ways to play together from a distance, it’s definitely not the same. Some days, I certainly miss it more than others. Some days, I think they do too. Writing this post doesn’t change anything, but I think it made me feel better. I wonder how many others benefit from just getting their feelings out there.


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