Over the last twenty years I've experienced a lot in the world of education but my three years of classroom experience* (2019-2022) all have a Covid-19 asterisk next to them. That * doesn't mean my experience was less, it just means my experience was different than I expected.
The summer of 2019 I blogged about what I did to create a classroom space that would invite and nurture community and shared some of our classroom #bookaday reads. I was so excited but I wasn't able to keep up with blog posts as I had hoped once the school year got rolling.
And even as I gained my footing my first year, the rug was pulled out from underneath me when Covid hit. The end of the school year, time for celebration and reflection and closure, didn't happen. Not only did it not happen, but I found myself processing so much loss, so much grief, so much unknown.
For example, I had an idea for a shared art project that we started but didn't get to finish. It was folded up and stored in a cabinet in my classroom. I felt lost in a lot of ways and then listless when it came to blogging. I had to pare down to what was most important to stay afloat.
The next two years of my classroom experience* meant I was mostly on zoom and then hybrid and then full time in person with students quarantined as needed and doing my best to meet their needs in this time of so many unknowns.
Which leads me to here and now and the opportunity to reconnect with blogging.
This is my comeback post.
People do these all the time. It's a dusting off. An acknowledgement that I've been away. A commitment to coming back. A reminder that I am human and life twists and turns and ebbs and flows and sometimes I'll have time and space and energy to blog and sometimes I won't. And like the quote students chose for our shared art project (above), an opportunity to remember:
Never force anything,
give it your best shot,
and if it's meant to be
it will be.
Ultimately, I blog for myself. It's a way to chronicle my experience as a teacher who writes and to reflect. It's nice to know that I have this space to record my thinking and process this most cherished life. It's a bonus if others find my thoughts helpful.
So...here I am. I packed up my books and other belongings at the end of the 2021-2022 school year and said goodbye to the school and district where I spent four years as a tech integration specialist and an instructional coach and three years* as a EL/Dual Language Language Arts/Social Studies teacher.
It's a little hard to see but students made graffiti boards at the end of this school year. I asked them to write their names and then to draw any memories of our time together in class. Along with the other students I got to learn with over the last three years*, I carry them with me.
But year 21 in education is taking me to Bannockburn School to be a 6th-8th grade Language Arts teacher. I'm looking forward to a new adventure and to sharing it here.