The NYC Department of Education announced that middle schools will be returning to the classroom at the end of February, with a week’s vacation in there too. They kept telling us it could happen any minute, but since we hadn’t heard a peep, we weren’t too concerned. Now we have a handful of days to get back up to speed to go back to a classroom that we don’t know if we will have 5 or 25 students. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to go back. I’m done with this remote stuff. I just need to switch gears and soon.
Before I turn my back on working from home, I should take stock and see the good and the bad. No commute was nice, and putting a load of laundry in during lunch was convenient too. Never getting away from the computer, and answering emails at all hours was a bad idea, but it just kept creeping further and further into the afternoon.
I will be taking a lot of the remote resources with me into the classroom. Recording videos so students can refer back to them is a lifesaver, I should have been doing that all along. Flexible due dates will be useful too. I need to recognize that some students did better in solitude and can work better in their homes afterschool.
What I’m really looking forward to is being in the same room with my students. There’s so much they need to understand about communicating without saying a word. Being in the same space will help remind them of all that we say to each other in the silences.
Mostly I have to start wearing clothes that aren’t elastic-based. And eating three meals a day instead of all day. We will never forget this past year, but I truly hope the lessons we learned along the way aren’t forgotten and help us be better as we move back to where we all belong.