It’s Friday night and I just finished my first two days of hybrid instruction. I’m exhausted, though it’s not what you’d expect. I certainly have a sore face. Without a doubt, my throat is scratchy and I’m a bit dehydrated. I can’t help but think if someone passed along the virus to me. But no, my exhaustion is different.
Since March 13th, I’ve thought about my classroom. I wondered when I’d be back, bouncing around, cracking jokes, and building relationships. I hoped for a time when I could again feel my hair stand on end as a student lights up with thought and leaves the room with anticipation for the next day.
Certainly, these past two days were fulfilling. Seeing just a handful of my students in person was enough to bring an infusion of energy that only the buzz of young people, anxious to learn, can bring. I’m happy and full of hope again. And yet, I’m in mourning. Masked, distanced, and disoriented, these young and bold individuals look timid. They’re unsure of surroundings that have been their home away from home for years. I try to walk around the room but the apprehension for us all is evident. We’re a bit scared and unsure if what we’re doing is irresponsible or safe. Ultimately, they’re as conflicted as me.
So, conflicted and confused, I prepare. I wake up each morning and select my “dad joke” of the day. I think of ways to express my joy, since my masked smile won’t do. I make sure to take my breaks and check on my own three children, at home, who are struggling to learn on the other side of the computer screen. They’re just as thirsty for the pre-pandemic connection that once offered them renewed spirit but now a confusing mix of hope and anxiety.
2020 has shined a bright light on the role of teachers as lovers of children. We will certainly work towards test scores and literacy benchmarks, but we are the keepers of hope and faith. We are society’s levy against the rising waters that will inevitably offer the next great generational challenge. But we must allow ourselves to coexist in the dichotomy created by hybrid instruction. We are allowed to love each moment as much as we grieve it. Nothing about this time is normal and there should be no expectation to accept our realities as such. We are allowed to cry and laugh. We can love and hate the same day. The truth is that our students need to see us as true reflections of each of our core emotions. They need to be led by a teacher that cares for themselves, creates a real space, and shows a true picture of resolve and perseverance.
I’m certainly exhausted. But it’s more complicated than that.
Interesting essay samples and examples on: https://essays.io/questionnaire-examples-samples/