448050911201448 In Person Teaching and Feeling Safe | Polka Dots and Protons - Interactive Science Notebooks & More

My goal is to make interactive science notebooks engaging for 5th grade and middle school science students while improving science test scores. NGSS expert, teacher, tpt author, mom, & widow

In Person Teaching and Feeling Safe

I am fortunate that I have been teaching in person since October. Teaching on Zoom stinks and we know kids are "multitasking" while being "in school" on Zoom. How do I know? They told me, sometimes on accident. Once I was messaged on the Zoom chat and asked if I wanted to play Roblox. That probably wasn't meant for me. Disable private chat- check.

Teaching in person is so much better for kids and teachers. Even with a shorter day (students leave at 12), we have been learning and our Maps scores prove it. We brought classes back on campus in Octoer. I'm at a small public school in San Diego county and we have been teaching in a hybrid model where students are on campus five days a week. Students are in class 8:30-12 M-Th and 8:30-11 on Friday. Few schools in the area have been hybrid and I don't know of any other public school that have been having students come five days a week. 

We are doing okay. It has been a constant adjustment to balance the learning pace and where we are emotionally. Sometimes I've assigned too much and then need to back off. Keeping that balance is important and I'm always trying to be aware of what the kids are up for. I'm not perfect at it but I reevaluate and adjust. Not to mention this is my first year teaching fifth grade. I have taught for more than a decade but bring on the pandemic and I get put in a new grade. Fortunately, I love fifth grade.

One thing that has been really hard during the pandemic and with teaching in person is feeling safe. The school was great about getting us dividers between desks and excellent air filters. Shade areas outside were added so we could use outdoor areas more easily. We clean desks, counters, and door knobs. Maintenance staff has really worked to keep rooms clean. With all of this, we can't control how people spend time outside of school. It is hard to know I am exposed to everywhere others have been without my consent. This has caused significant anxiety. I am the only living parent my children have. I'm it. While I have been working to address the concerns of my students and their families and school safety I am on my own with regard to my concerns for my safety. My chest feels tight. I have to work to control my breathing and practice calming down. I have had many little melt downs. Other classes have come and gone as they have to switch back to virtual learning because of Covid exposure. Is my class next? Some classes are informed mid day or over the weekend and teachers scramble to switch back to virtual learning. Things change quickly and often this year.

My own children have been virtual learning. So while I'm going out in person, two of my own children don't get that option. They have struggled with virtual learning. I have left my high schooler at home each day while I go in to work. It stinks. 

Tomorrow I get my first Covid vaccination. I am hoping it eases my mind a bit. 💛