This morning started off almost like any other school day. The only exception for my students was the last minute cancellation of our field trip. Disappointed that we could not go, but determined to continue with the unit, I planned a different lesson for Social Studies.
All of the staff were buzzing around asking each other if we thought that school would be cancelled next week because of “the virus.”
My reply was adamant. “No. We keep the sick people at home, not the healthy ones. School will not close.”
There is the reason why I am a teacher and not an epidemiologist.
Then the emails began to come in. Questions about student internet access at home were among the first. Rumors began to swirl that we would be closed for the next two weeks to students, but that staff would still need to report on Monday. Much to my surprise, I left my classroom on that Friday afternoon and did not return until it was time to pack up for the summer.
But if I could go back in time, these are the things I wished that I had appreciated more on that fateful day.
Top Ten Things That I Miss About March 13, 2020.
- Read Alouds- I miss having the children directly in front of me on the rug as I read to them. I miss holding a book in my hands, above my shoulder, a skill that every teacher has mastered so gracefully. I miss having the students approach me to get a closer look at the pictures. I miss redirecting the children who tickle each other instead of paying attention to the book.
- Sharing- In Kindergarten, sharing was one of the Golden Rules. We shared school supplies, toys and materials with an unselfish attitude. There was no mine. Everything was ours.
- Partner Work- I miss the intimacy of two students working and learning from each other, without a pool noodle extended between them.
- Tables- I miss my tables. I miss pulling a chair up to a table and conversing with the group about what they are working on or doing a small group lesson.
- Recess Playground Equipment- It bothers me greatly when my students go outside and have to stare at an enticing playground structure and basketball hoops, but are unable to use either. There is only so much fun in walking around and playing imaginary tag!
- Cooperative Activities: Blocks and STEAM Projects- Upon arrival, my students have an opportunity to participate in some free choice time, while others eat breakfast. I miss taking out my tub of wooden blocks and watching my students work together to engineer a structure. I miss them asking me to take their picture in front of the completed design before they have to knock it down.
- Holding Hands- I miss holding hands with my students as we head to the nurse with a scraped knee or return inside from recess. I miss watching my students hold hands as they go to the bathroom or play a game together.
- Centers- I miss my Math and Literacy center time when the children played games with shared manipulatives. I miss the independence and interdependence that developed during these activities.
- Volunteers- I miss my classroom volunteers! My amazing mother was in my classroom two mornings a week reading with my students and helping out wherever help was needed. I miss having parents come in to assist with center games, special projects and celebrations.
- Hugs- I miss the completely unsolicited hugs that I received from my loving students when they entered and left my classroom each day. I am sorry, but an “air hug” is not the same.
What do you miss the most from March 13, 2020?