This is my 21st year going back-to-school as a teacher with the Board. I love back-to-school time. Yes, when the Staples commercials used to come on too early in the summer they caused me stress, but by the middle of August, I was excited to start thinking about the classroom again.
This really is like Christmastime for me with …
- the new school supplies,
- a new wardrobe,
- new connections with parents and families,
- exciting new picture books to share with the class,
- and the start of a classroom set-up. I know that the room arrangement slowly changes as the kids appear, and that makes me even more excited.
I become giddy with anticipation, and even the 4:45 alarm clock doesn’t stress me out. Nothing can bring me down.
This year is different though. The rising COVID numbers mean that restrictions are in a constant state of flux. I spent a lot of time last night reading the press releases and listening to the recordings from this week’s various media events.
This past Wednesday, I was a guest on VoicEd Canada’s This Week In Ontario Edublogs Podcast. The initial conversation was about what will school look like in the fall? The truth is, I’m not sure. I have some inklings and evolving ideas based on information shared online, but I think that safety considerations continue to ping-pong the reality. And while I absolutely, positively want the safest reopening plan possible, Doug Peterson‘s blog post this morning made me realize how much I’m struggling with a changing routine.
Usually, at this time of the year, I’d be making …
- trips to Dollarama for new buckets, tape, and my favourite plasticine of all time,
- trips to Staples for Sharpies,
- and trips to Walmart for cheap deals on school supplies,
but I haven’t gone anywhere yet. I’m still trying to figure out with Paula …
- what do we need?
- what materials can kids use this year?
- how much of each item do we need? If sharing is possible, what will that look like, especially if we need forward facing desks in rows?
I know that we’ll continue to hear more throughout the week, and I know that we’ll adjust given whatever restrictions need to be in place, but I also know that I’m missing that flurry of excitement that’s become synonymous for me with the end of summer. Maybe I need to find another good book and get lost in that instead, but I don’t want to. I want my most wonderful time of the year, and I’m trying to figure out how to recapture that joy. What are you doing to help with this? If my nervous stomach could be due to a flurry of anticipation instead of a flurry of worries, I think it would make a big difference. I know that I need my Christmas in September back again … even with the never-ending COVID craziness. Do you?