8:09 – Friday before break and (hopefully) the final day of remote/hybrid learning. I’m wearing a “Friends” themed T shirt one of my co-workers made in the name of solidarity back when this all started that says “I’ll be there for you” and instead of F*R*I*E*N*D*S it says “Teacher” and there are masks on the zeroes in 2020. When I opened up my computer this morning I had an excellent John Prine/Kurt Vile tribute Youtube waiting for me from my teaching partner and the kids will be here for their last day in this leg of weird. I figured, for today’s slice, I’d just leave the doc open and slice my thoughts and the happenings of this, I guess at least for us, historic day, in order to memorialize it. Come along, won’t you?
8:48 – Everyone from my homeroom, in person and remote, is in attendance. That’s weird for a normal day let alone the day before break. I think I need to take my son in to maybe get Xrays or find out if he needs Xrays on what I thought was just a finger jam after work. Time travel – thinking about after the day that I’ve put a bunch of importance in while said day is just starting. Context. Grand scheme. Kids are neon’d up for last day of cosmic bowling and exploring our latest educational trend – everyone seems down for some morning time bubble maps – so far so good.
9:27 – back from the final day of PE cosmic bowling – nothing like shakin’ it in blacklight to Beyonce on a Friday morning! Also – gym class was never this cool when I was a kid. Except the parachute – that was bomb.
11:13 – made the kids laugh at least 4 times, got through a grammar lesson wherein 3 of my 8 students did not have the work they needed despite my putting IN ALL CAPS on yesterday’s schedule, and verbally reminding multiple times to put the work in their bags for tomorrow (today) without losing my calm and actually being pretty darned cool about it – still cruising right along just fine!!!
12:10 – twenty minutes to eat. The lady at district put the picture I twitter’d from cosmic bowling up on the school website – kids got a kick out of that after getting a kick out of some frosty kickball. My hair is bird nests due to having to wear my hood – I’ve decided I’m done with coats. About to eat with my kids when I see my girl has packed lunch with a cute note – so remarkable, the surprise little things and how much they can affect everything! Sigh. I play episodes of He Man during lunch because it’s free on the youtubes. Yesterday’s group ignores it except to watch ironically – today’s kids scream enthusiastically, in unison, the entire opening scene. I watch my teaching partner’s class while she heats her soup and we always hear group B “I HAVE THE POWER!!!!!” – so good. When Adam transformed later on I choked down my bite of unwich in time to join them. They were delighted. So now I am too. I was even louder than them. Also, I added the “new” kids who will be joining our in person class after break to my Google Classroom because I decided that last 20 minutes of school should be with ALL my kids so I sent out the alert – 2:35 MEETING!!!!!!!
1:38 – just finished our last split remote/in school read aloud session. No more after we come back – it’ll just be the in-school kids. The school gave us Renee Jain’s sort of self help for kids book and we didn’t quite finish it but I cherry picked some choice nuggets about resilience and turned it into my 4th or 5th impromptu speech of the day. They are more than halfway to leaving for 11 days and it is the end of this part of the covid and speeches keep flying out of my mouth because I feel like they are happily running from this moment they will always remember (in my mind) and I need to make sure they are safe and filled with love and knowledge before the video games and sleeping that take place for fun and not escape from remote school anymore begins and I am out of breath!!!!
2:29 – 2 more speeches to my 4th reading group. They get it. I tell myself they get it. These kids are geeked to leave and I told them they all deserve it from the laziest to the busiest – this has been one weird year and I need them to enjoy and refuel – they will be doing 5 days a week for the first time in over a year and we have lots of work to do to become 6th graders!!! Man, some days these guys scare me but today – nothing but pure love.
3:17 – ugh. Ok – I had to get a cup of tea to finish this up but I am ready. Couldn’t have asked for a more fitting finale to this poopshow (as a writer, I’ve always been good with swearing. I enjoy many writers who punctuate with profanity but I sell out here because teachers, it’s fine). My final class went well – lots of smiles in eyes above masks. The math test happening in my homeroom ran a little late which is to be expected just before break but I had my final meet beginning so the kids joining got a good look at the hall until I was finally able to begin my goodbyes. No sooner did I introduce the new, mystery students that would be jumping on the bus for the duration of this long strange trip than my computer just completely died. Made my TV convulse and just went into the blue spinning wheel. This hasn’t happened since at least NOVEMBER!!!!! But while I scrambled the kids who were in-person today jumped on and were seeing kids from the other hybrid group they really haven’t in months. “OMG look at your hair it’s adorable!!!” and other various and sundry comments and inside jokes heretofore relegated to Google Hangout chat texts suddenly sprinkled the air and as I finally gave up the ghost and logged into the meet on my phone I thought – they all got their unrestricted goodbye to hybrid learning in the most fun way possible. It was, in a word, awesome. Even underneath my red faced embarrassment. Then I got on, for maybe 5 minutes. Told them I know some of them might not have a happy 11 days in front of them and promised I would be missing them and here waiting for them when they came back. I told them that each and every one of them deserved the break they were about to get – even those I am constantly on for being lazy, because they are, finally, completing a section of this weird year they’d never forget. And I told them I wanted them to be safe and that I loved them all, very much. A fitting finish, all things considered. Now I get to focus a little more on my other people for a few days and I need it as much as they do. So it goes.