It seems like just yesterday we started the 2020/2021 school year under some very different and difficult circumstances than ever before. To say that the current school year has been a challenge is an understatement. I've been teaching for 17 years, yet this year it feels like it did when I was just starting off.
I took on the role of teaching one of the blended/hybrid cohorts for my district this year. I'm spending ½ the day teaching Grade 6/7 online and students attend school for in person instruction 3 afternoons each week. The Grade 6/7 curriculum is not new to me; having to redesign it for an online version is. I was also under the impression that the blended program would expire in December and all students would return back to the classroom full-time after our winter break. It turns out this current system will now continue until June.
I'm having to maneuver so many obstacles, whether it be technology issues, recreating new ways to teach in order to meet the various needs of my learners, or keeping the students engaged and on task, especially in the virtual world. The days feel long and exhausting, yet I choose to find the positive in everything I do. No day is perfect, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.
I feel blessed to be able to teach a wonderful community of learners, which has been validated by their touching comments and gestures this week alone. Teaching during a pandemic is not easy, but it makes everything worth it when I think of how far my students have come this year. From my autistic student who has been come so far as to ask for help on her own, to the girl who left in tears because she was moving schools, to the young boy who's parent told me he excitedly talks about his various projects when they had to pry it out of him in the past, my heart is overcome with joy and pride. It's moments like these that I am reminded that I love what I do!
As we begin the winter break, I will definitely take the time to enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation. I'll be spending time cooking delicious treats, sharing my passion for cooking with the world, getting back into my workout routine and of course spending time with the four legged members of my family. Christmas will look much different this year, as I will be joining my family virtually, but I am at peace as I know this is not a permanent change. It's what must happen to keep the people I love safe and healthy for many years to come.
When all is said and done, we will emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever! I encourage you to embrace this challenging time and try to find the positive each and every day.
From my family to yours, we wish you a very merry Holiday season.
This is me
Just a simple gal living on the West Coast of Canada, sharing her love and passion for food and fitness... and her puppy dogs.