Distance Learning Take 2

We are officially wrapping up our 3rd week of distance learning round 2 and I have felt so much better about it this time around than I did in the spring!

Don’t get me wrong, I still hate that we have to be distant instead of being at school but we are so much more prepared this time around. Ever since our Welcome Back days the first week of September, we have been preparing our kids for the inevitability of going to distance at some point. From day 1, I told my kids that we wouldn’t know when but we were going to go back to distance learning during the year and we had to be ready. That definitely has helped us be much more successful this time around.

In the spring, we didn’t have a whole lot of rules or expectations for our students and that was the biggest problem. Because it was such a strange time, we had to go with the flow and we couldn’t penalize a student for anything. I had a few students who I wouldn’t see for weeks and I couldn’t do anything about it. On top of that, students knew they wouldn’t be graded on anything so I had kids who flat out refused to do work because why would they? Being so loose on everything made my job incredibly challenging because I couldn’t teach.

I made sure my kids knew that we would be taking this much more seriously this time and learning was going to take place. They have been doing amazing with it! In the spring, we were encouraged to do a Google Meets with our kids once a week to check in. I tried to do one everyday but I couldn’t make it mandatory so only the same ten kids came. This time around, we have to teach live all day on a Google Meets and it’s so much better! Sure, it’s not fun staring at a screen sitting on your computer all day but my kids are in front of me all morning and we are getting things done.

Another helpful thing we’ve been doing this year is posting our daily agendas that are super detailed. We post them every morning at 9:00 and our follow them exactly how they are written. I go through it with them every morning during our morning meeting so they know what is expected of them that day. It has been super helpful keeping them on track while also getting them on our Meets at the correct times.

This is an example of the one I posted today:

The other helpful thing this time around is that our kids actually have binders with assignments for them to do with them at home. In the spring, we were flying by the seat of our pants every week because we had to do everything over Seesaw or Google Classroom. We taught using resources our kids weren’t used to. This time, we get to send things home weekly so our kids are using materials they would be using if we were in person. It reminds them that this is still school.

When we went to distance learning in the spring, I felt a huge disconnect from my class. I thought we had such a great bond all year but, when we left, I lost all connection with them and it killed me. This year, I’ve felt the same with them that I do in the classroom. It makes me so much happier to log on everyday. I actually think I’ve bonded more with this group being online because, at school, we couldn’t do a whole lot of relationship building due to COVID rules and procedures. We were so busy making sure we were at least 6 feet apart at all times, wearing our masks, and following all the new rules that there was no time for fun and I couldn’t play all of my classroom team building games that I have in the past.

It’s definitly been a hard few weeks, I’m not going to deny that, but it could be so much worse right now. I love my class and we will get through this. The best part is knowing that at some point, we will be back at school which, again, is much better than not going back at all last spring.

Also, can we just take a moment and love the fact that T. Swift just dropped her second album in 6 months? She kills me! I will forever be a huge fan and will never be ashamed of that! Evermore is pure beauty!

Fore more day to day action and live activities, go follow my class Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher!

Go check out my recent posts!

NEDA Week 2021

2 years ago I shared a story that is very close to my heart. I talked about my younger sister’s struggle with Anorexia Nervosa and how it has impacted her life and my life. This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week so I thought it would be time to share again the battle my … Continue reading NEDA Week 2021

Gymnastics, Family, Yoga, and New Girl

Today is was a nice and relaxing day. It was the perfect Saturday after a full week back.

I started the day with a nice cup of coffee while lying on the couch. There’s nothing better than waking up and not having to do anything for awhile so you can just relax on the couch in your pajamas.

I then went to judge a gymnastics tournament. I LOVE gymnastics. I did gymnastics, I coach gymnastics, and I also judge. Some tournaments can be super long (and I was not really excited to spend my Saturday working) but the meet was only 2 hours long! I was in and out of the gym and it was still the afternoon. It was also a fun meet to work and watch.

The rest of the day was pretty great as well. I went to hang out with my family for a couple hours. I feel like I haven’t seen my family since Christmas since things have been so busy lately and I only live 15 minutes away from them! I love catching up with them and just spending time all together.

My yoga with Adrienne for the day was all about ease and serenity. It was a 30 minute meditation practice. It was all centered on the floor and was about mindfulness and taking things easy. After a long week of teaching, it’s just what I needed. I love finding my center and creating those positive vibes throughout my body.

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I then got some chores done around my apartment and now I’m ending the day watching some New Girl and drinking a glass of wine. Does anyone else love New Girl? Seriously, she is me to a tee. (I’ve always secretly wished I lived in an apartment with 3 guy roommates.)

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I forget how much I love Saturdays when there’s nothing to worry about and no school work to get caught up on. Sorry this post was kind of random but it was such a nice day I needed to write about it.