One year ago, March 13, 2020, was the last day of in-person learning for myself as a teacher and for my girls as students. I remember it vividly as I had taken the day off in order to prepare for a weekend of birthday festivities. I was scheduled to go into Izzie’s classroom to read for her birthday as I had for the past several years.
And then Covid. Visitors were no longer allowed into schools, so I sent a video instead. But then the emails and phone calls started coming in. Students would be leaving today and not returning for at least two weeks. I remember texting my best friend, asking her to at least grab my computer from my office since I was not at school that day. I remember trying to figure out if we should have Izzie’s friends over for her birthday party or cancel. We ended up having it, but with precautions in place and contacting all of the parents.
Things spiraled from there and eventually, school was cancelled for the remainder of the year. Our roles as educators were turned upside down as we tried to navigate education in a virtual world. Zoom became a normal part of the day, with myself and my two daughters often on calls at the same time and trying to utilize all devices available. I quickly learned Zoom on my phone was not going to work well.
We quickly fell into a rhythm of a “new normal.” Masks covered our faces if and when we had to leave home. We spent more time outside, even when it was cold. Walks were an escape from the confines of our house. Scavenger hunts were created to give us a focus for our walks, as we were taking several a day. We read more, puzzled more, and spent more time together as a family.
In the midst of this “new normal” I interviewed for a new job via Zoom. Professional shirt on the top, comfy pants on the bottom. After a second interview, I was offered a job, which I accepted. I was super excited, but this meant that I would not get to say good bye to my kiddos I had been teaching all year, the ones I left on March 12th not realizing it would be the last day of in-person learning for the year. Closure never happened.
But as I reflect, I am choosing to focus on the good that has come out of a crazy year…
quality time with family
a new job that I am loving
Izzie made gymnastics team
Sophia made dance team
I spent more time outside
I learned to appreciate the little things
making the best of a crazy situation
being able to be home
not having to rush around like crazy
and many things I am probably forgetting.
So, as I sit here a year later, once again planning a birthday for Izzie when things are not quite normal, I hope and pray for more and more “normalcy” in the future. In the meantime, we will make the best of what we have and appreciate the time we have together.