For each school day of the 2020-21 school year, I will be writing two sentences to capture some of the impressions, feelings, experiences, or thoughts I had that day. This is the 29th post in the series.
Monday (May 3)
Had a wonderful basketball + lunch session with many kids; I was on fire from three and got really excited (probably too excited). For a moment, in joshing with my students about the score, in riding the wave of a made three pointer, in immersing ourselves in a state of flow on the court, life actually felt normal.
Tuesday (May 4)
Battled though several long bouts of silence in my classes today; it’s clear that the kids are feeling the strain. The day ended with one of the lowlights of the year: an in-person student (who was sitting in the same room as me) left our online class five minutes before the end of the period and didn’t feel bad about it at all…already struggling to engage the class and keep up my energy, I could barely contain myself.
Wednesday (May 5)
Stepped into the day clean, with renewed energy to avoid the pitfalls of yesterday. I ate up answers in the chat and didn’t mandate responses over the mic; I kept everyone in the waiting room as I caught with a student before class during fifth period; I used my signature call and response throughout the day to promote engagement.
Thursday (May 6)
Handed out copies of the Mathematical Voices Vol. 2 manuscript to colleagues to proofread and edit for me. Stayed on unusually long for office hours after school to help students with this week’s Turn In.
Friday (May 7)
Despite grades being due on Monday and several meetings peppered throughout the day, I used my spare time to do push ups in my empty classroom while listening to some inspiring excerpts of Chris Emdin. Had a rough end to the day.
For each school day of the 2020-21 school year, I will be writing two sentences to capture some of the impressions, feelings, experiences, or thoughts I had that day. This is the 28th post in the series.
Monday (Apr 26)
Gave a public apology to my students at the beginning of class today. Owning up to my weaknesses when it comes to remote learning, I apologized for my sour, emotionally-absent attitude at the end of last week; I’m not sure how it was received, but it had to be done — they deserve better.
Tuesday (Apr 27)
A student who I had two years ago, who I sorely miss for many reasons, chased me down in the stairwell early in the morning and asked if we could catch up sometime. That absolutely made my day.
Wednesday (Apr 28)
The deputy superintendent was in my class today; I didn’t particularly welcome the visit, but it fell into my lap anyway. Through the years, I’ve developed a pessimistic view of these visits…despite me not warmly receiving my APs invite, today felt different for me; my reaction to his presence was rooted in welcoming him and his energy into a weird, isolated classroom.
Thursday (Apr 29)
Thrilled when several students and I got to play basketball in the gym during lunch. It was a socially distant game of 500 with everyone wearing masks and surgical gloves, but I had the time of my life.
Friday (Apr 30)
Had a wonderful cogen. Given where I was seven days ago, what a difference a week can make.
For each school day of the 2020-21 school year, I will be writing two sentences to capture some of the impressions, feelings, experiences, or thoughts I had that day. This is the 27th post in the series.
Monday (Apr 19)
Thoroughly enjoyed my lunch banter with some students in the courtyard (SHEESHHH!). My morning walks with BD are routine and therapeutic; I see them as an investment in self-awareness and self-care.
Tuesday (Apr 20)
In the silence that pervades most of my Zoom classes these days, I had a crushing moment during 8th period when we spent 25 minutes working to state 5 noticing/wonderings about an anonymous piece of student work. On the other side of things, I had two touching moments of connection (one was with a former student — AS — and the other was with a current student — WF).
Wednesday (Apr 21)
I was zapped of motivation today. Was hard to stay positive, upbeat, and with it today; I stuck to content and wasn’t proud of it.
Thursday (Apr 22)
Still feeling defeated by remote learning, I dragged myself through my classes, and my students sensed it. I’m coming to terms with what it means to have sustained this level of professional stress for this long; today was really hard.
Friday (Apr 23)
A quiet day in the building that I used to regroup from a shattered week that put a huge dent in my remote learning armor. Onward I go.
For each school day of the 2020-21 school year, I will be writing two sentences to capture some of the impressions, feelings, experiences, or thoughts I had that day. This is the 26th post in the series.
Monday (Apr 12)
After brainstorming with my cogen for three weeks, I was proud to unveil my new and improved math poetry assignment today. It went from being strictly haiku-based last year to now having four different options for students to choose from: a haiku, Fibonacci poem, free form poem, or math rap.
Tuesday (Apr 13)
To encourage more participation, out of no where, I started doing pushups in ninth period (I’m teaching in the gym). I’ve been slacking on doing my daily pushups…why not kill two birds with one stone?
Wednesday (Apr 14)
An emotional day; started off feeling isolated and ran through a gauntlet of feelings as the hours passed by. I held back tears in conversation with a colleague about the end of the school year; I realized that I’m concealing a lot of dismay that will probably come back to bite me in June.
Thursday (Apr 15)
Though it felt rushed, I got a little closer to mapping out a lesson on predatory lending at the final CHRE workshop with two trusted colleagues. In the evening, I attended an excellent talk by Sian Beilock on math anxiety through MfA‘s Thursday Think series.
Friday (Apr 16)
Had a thought-provoking conversation with two colleagues and a student about The Glass Castle this afternoon…interestingly, the student informally enticed all of us teachers to read it individually (both last year and this year) and then got us all together to chat about it for 45 minutes; it was an incredibly unique way of connecting during these crazy times. In an impromptu venting session, my AP shared an impassioned plea to not tell the stories of our students, no matter how inspirational doing so may seem to us; they don’t necessarily want to wear their struggle on their sleeve for all to see — we shouldn’t force them to.