We came, we conquered.
Four words every teacher that has been in school for the past month can actually utter. It was a hard back to school, y’all. I think I can speak for all teachers on that one. It was HARD. We had a long few months teaching online, along with our rugrats (let’s face it our own children acquired that nickname real quick) by our side and we didn’t even flinch. We cried, but we didn’t flinch. It was hard. But August rolled and some schools opened, and I think that was probably the hardest thing emotionally that I had done in a really long time. The amount of information thrown at us was overwhelming, but there was so much more. We prepared our classes, we put all desks six feet apart, we found new methods to teach without sharing, we separated all materials for students, we brainstormed and wondered if we were doing all this for nothing, because let’s face it, the school would eventually shut down. We trained, got CPR certified and trained some more. Meetings after meetings. We were exhausted. But mostly, we worried how on earth we would teach with a mask on, and how we were going to face our students with just eyes staring at us, and make it through the day.
Well, we came and we conquered. The day came, and the real heroes showed up. These children are the heroes I promise you. They come every day, no different than six months ago, and they do their part. They wear their masks all day without fail, they wash their hands, and spray their hands about 50 times in a seven hour day, and most of all they understand why they sit so far from their friends, and why they cannot simply get up and speak to them or ask them to borrow a colored pencil. I say it again for the people who didn’t hear me, THEY are the true heroes. My faith in humanity is forever restored because of them, and for that I am thankful. A constant reminder during those bad days of why I chose teaching.
But make sure you check up on your teacher friends. Talking every day and having to do so over a mask is draining. Our throats are dry. Washing our hands every time we change rooms, spraying our hands every time we touch a paper, a pencil, a child, and reminding those said children to do the same, is mentally draining. Always and constantly looking out, making sure protocol is respected, and yet still and always teach. It’s a balancing act that is hard to keep up. Doing lessons in class and teaching online at the same time for those who chose to stay home, is beyond exhausting. And here I am, doing all of this for eight hour days, to then come home to my own children and before I can even hug them, needing to run and change all my clothes and wash my hands for the millionth time because Mommy would forever hate herself if she got them sick. So yes, I am drained and emotionally exhausted. Yet despite it all, I am happy. I feel like somehow we have won. We are fighting this virus, and we are letting it know that it won’t stop us!
Because we came, we conquered!