Waiting for Water to Boil

Okay. I am going to say it.

Real life in the last quarter has been filled with tension and a level of uncertainty that knocks normal people on their butts, not just worry warts.

Schools are being encouraged to get back to normal.

For many early career educators, this is shaky ground. For many veteran teachers, used to a certain rhythm, this is an unbelievable feat.

Yet, what I have been observing is new early career educators are leading the charge. Many have IT skills that seasoned vets do not. They have relevant suggestions and aha moments that their backgrounds of living life in virtual areas has given them dating back to their first IM.

That is the good news.

The bad news is the inability of a teacher to teach 100% invested in the lessons. It just isn’t happening. If a teacher drops their guard, they feel responsible for many kids becoming infected. Routines can be taught, but one wrong move can lead to vulnerability.

It is an exhausting way to live.

I was talking with an educator yesterday who told me there is a weird kind of anxiety, likening it to waiting for the other shoe to drop. As cases begin to shut down classrooms and new sanitary routines are set in place, it is difficult for some to feel the joy of teaching. The shadow of one lowered mask or Covid sickness in a student’s family spreading to others, is predominantly on their minds. No matter how hard they try to push it back to the brain vault for forbidden thoughts. In the whole scheme of things, it’s like trying to focus on subject matter while watchful of a simmering pot not wanting it to come to full boil.

There is also the way this virus has been politicized.

When you teach the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” it really doesn’t fit if the “others” have a pre-existing condition and you don’t.

If you told me a year ago that all Americans would not support mask wearing in a pandemic, I maybe would have believed a few.

I would have likely said that Americans step up for each other in a time of crisis.

This is where the anxiety has become full blown panic.

There are many people who have had to close their businesses, but schools have the same clientele every day.

We are all in this together.

As a person who is supposed to provide a voice of reason, I can support and commiserate, AND I do wear a mask.

Hopefully, when it is all over, (if?) we will have learned many lessons on alternative learning styles. In schools, we will have endured the single most daunting crisis in our entire careers. There is hope. We need to keep looking forward.

While many people have talked about the anxiety level of the students, please keep in mind that teachers are continually on the front lines.

Support them.

Let’s beat this virus as a unified group.

Thanks for listening.

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