Back to Work

Children are crying, trying to run away from me. Parents are screaming at their kids, and afterwards apologizing to me. The school staff is peeking through the classrooms, worried expressions on their faces, making sure that I’m doing okay. I’m trying to juggle props and remember my lesson plan. What am I supposed to do next, again?

Oh, the joys of work.

No, really.

It’s nice to know that Covid-19 hasn’t change anything–even though the world has been disrupted and we’re now at a new normal.

After almost two months of not working, I’m back in my classroom, surrounded by the mess, and feeling really glad to be back into the swing of things.

But things are different. They have to be. We’re still not in the clear. People are still getting sick and infected. We all still have to do our part to save lives by practicing social distancing and staying home.

It’s the same. But, it’s not the same.

We’ve shifted to online lessons, which has been strange for everyone involved. I’m learning how to teach virtually and it’s not easy. The students are unsure of what to do when they see me on the screen; parents are just as confused. There are lots of technical issues that come up. The school support staff has new responsibilities and are required to do things they haven’t done before. The company, meanwhile, has been struggling to meet its consumers’ needs.

In short, we have no idea what we’re doing.

But at least, we’re all trying.

And that’s all we can do at this point. Coronavirus has upended all of our lives so there really is no “right” answer.

It was weird to go back to work, I’ll admit. We prepared as best as we could before we actually started doing online lessons. But really, there was nothing else to do but just jump right into it and hope for the best.

For the most part, I’m glad everyone understood that what we were trying to do was not going to be perfect. Of course, everything was new so the kinks had to be worked out.

I tried my damnest to make my lessons go as smoothly as I can–because that’s how I usually roll.

I’m not going to lie, though. It was hard. I dreaded going into the school because I was anxious about the whole process and worried so much about the things that could go wrong. Mostly, though, teaching online lessons was something I’ve never done before and I wasn’t sure whether it was something I could do.

But even though it’s only been a week, I think I’ve learned that I can fight through the difficulties and grow beyond my comfort level. And it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, once I got the hang of it. That first lesson was always the hardest. As the week went on and I taught more classes, the more comfortable I got. I hit my stride and established a rhythm.

It got…better. Maybe even fun?

Ultimately, I learned a new skill.

And that’s always a good thing.

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