I Apologize

I apologize to my classes all the time. I apologize because I can’t be the teacher that I know I am. I apologize because I know they are bored and I HATE IT. I apologize because while I am working my hardest to deliver meaningful, interesting information it is mediocre at best.

I have been teaching hybrid since September. I have a few students physically present in the classroom with me and the rest are at home on a computer. I teach dots on a screen all day long. I don’t know what my students look like. I can’t tell if they are having a great day, or if they are struggling. I feel like a robot, spewing out information with no emotion or reaction. I miss my students. I miss the camaraderie, the laughter, the discussions, and the debates. I miss spotting new haircuts and new sneakers. I miss what my classroom used to look like, tables instead of desks, groups instead of rows. I miss what used to be, but thankful for what I have. I am thankful that kids are forgiving. I am thankful they know I am trying my best and respect me instead of blaming me. I am thankful for students who find the good in a lesson even if they expected it to be better. I never expected how much this pandemic would take a toll on me professionally. I never expected to fear going to work. I never expected to see colleagues break down in tears from the stress of it all. I never expected it would take a year of isolation to realize how much I took for granted. 

When I retire (in 2033 -who’s counting), I will remember this year, but this will not be the year that defines my career. This will be the year I learned to slow down and be present in the moment. I learned to not sweat the small stuff. I learned how important health really is, even though I teach about it every single day. I learned that kids really like school even though they say they don’t. I learned that I still really love being a teacher.

In a few weeks, students will have the opportunity to come to school 5 days a week. I can’t wait to welcome them to the classroom even if it is with desks in rows, plexiglass dividers, covered in sanitizer. I can’t wait to hear the laughter again, notice new outfits, and spot the kid that is having a hard day. I can’t wait to see students’ mask-covered faces. I just can’t wait to stop apologizing and be the teacher I want to be. 

This microblog post was a featured post in #slowchathealth’s #microblogmonth event. You can search for all of the featured posts here. Please do follow each of the outstanding contributors on social media (including Jess Wright, the author of this post) and consider writing a microblog post of your own to be shared with the global audience of slowchathealth.com

Pair this blog post with the following:

Do Not Confuse or Conflate by Carlos Andrés Gómez

I Miss My Classroom by Kathleen Peterson

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