Today was the first day back to work for teachers in my county. We all went to our rooms, and met remotely as a faculty. Three of my peers were remote from home, in quarantine due to having been exposed, or waiting for test results. Another school had an administrator test positive, and much of the faculty was quarantining at home due to exposure. We got student estimates today. It looks like each class will have 27-32 students. We don’t know yet how many of those students will choose to do remote or in person learning. Either way, the students will be assigned teachers, and have class with that teacher. We were asked to take pictures of our rooms today, so that parents would be able to see the set ups, and judge for themselves whether it is a safe situation for their children. There is not a mask requirement, so that must be taken into account when deciding. Here is my room…
I only have one student to work with at this school for this year. My room serves as my “office”, and home for all of my resources and materials. The half of my room that is not in the picture is used for storage of a learning lab that is no longer in use. I also have a table set up outside of the camera view. I serve seven different schools, and usually work out of storage rooms or large closets. Sometimes I use the school libraries as a meeting space, and on rare occasion I might have use of an actual classroom. As we like to say in special education, “ service isn’t a place.” That couldn’t be a more perfect motto for my service!
While unpacking my room today, I took a little break, and saw that Dr. Birx from the Coronovirus Task Force, was holding a conference. I heard her mention my state, then realized that she was in Nashville. Our state is now turning into a hot spot that is reaching into our rural counties (like mine). She urged everyone to wear a mask. That didn’t go over well with the community population of people who don’t believe that COVID-19 is more than a hoax. It feels like there is just nothing more to be done except to do my best to protect my family and friends, and let the rest of the chips fall where they may.
A children’s story comes to mind over the mask issue…
I share this story with kids every year. It has been my favorite from a very young age. The theme is timeless, and there is always a connection that can be made for any age. My students have thought of it as the “popular kids” and the others.
I noticed something today in my school that just added to my concern for our ability to follow enough of the safety guidelines to keep our kids and teachers safe. Water…..
I went to wash my hands here, and tried three sinks before I got one with a water flow. They have faucets that you have to push in repeatedly to get water. The flow only lasts for about 5 seconds if at all. We are teaching kids to wash their hands for 20 seconds. I can already imagine the cursing that might take place at these sinks outside my new room. So I will be meeting kids where they are, and helping them process frustration this year. No problem! I love a challenge.