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

June in Review

I know that it’s already July 6th but I figured since summer is already 1/3 of the way over I would go back and look at the first 1/3 because why not?

It’s crazy to think that 1 month ago was officially our last day of school. As fast as summer may be going it’s strange to think that it’s only been a month since the last day with my kiddos. Our last day was June 6th and I’m still sad thinking about those great kids! I miss them so much. This year was difficult at times but they were sweet and kind students and the chances of having such a great class like that is pretty slim.

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Even if this isn’t in chronological order, on June 5th something super exciting happened for my mom! She is an elementary school teacher in my hometown (the next town over from where I teach now.) June 5th was her last day of school. At the end of the day the whole district goes to an end of the year staff celebration. At this celebration my mom was awarded an “outstanding service” award for being such a great teacher at her school. Unfortunately my dad was in the hospital at this time so my mom wasn’t able to attend the ceremony. My sister and I got the privilege to accept the award for her. We took a nice little picture with her teammates to surprise her.

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A little fun fact about me (which most people don’t agree with) is that I am a HUGE Taylor Swift fan. On June 13th we found out the release date and name of her 7th album. The album will be called Lover and it will be released on August 23rd! I’m so excited. I know her music has different reviews but I love how her style always changes. I hate to admit this but I’m low key excited for the end of August because of this album (even if that means I’m back at school the following week.)

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June 15th I was able to meet one of my very best friends from high school for brunch. Her and I go way back. We met when I was 12 and she was 10 through gymnastics. For years we practiced and competed together. As we got older we coached together and did other high school sports together. When I left for college we stayed in touch and when she went off to college we tried to meet up every now and then to stay up to date on our lives. We went to a local Minnesota restaurant called the 3 Squares located in Maple Grove, MN (for anyone out there who might be in the area at some point.) It was a delicious spot and the perfect place for brunch and (the best part) bottomless mimosas!!

June 17th I did something totally out there. I went to the hair salon and died the under coat of my hair pink (a pink peekaboo.) I’m a very low key, keep to myself person so getting my hair colored hot pink was something nobody would have thought I would do. I love it! 2 days later I decided to get a little bit more crazy and went to get my nose pierced. Actually I went to get it re-pierced. A few years ago I had a small stud in my nose but I took it out for student teaching. I have always been told that piercings and tattoos are frowned upon in the education world. It wasn’t until my piercing had closed that I realized they were accepted in my school. I missed it so much but never went to get it redone. I figured, this was the perfect time.

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On June 19th my mom and I decided to take trip down to Minneapolis to see the Twins play the Red Sox. Sadly, they lost that game but my mom and I had the best night and shared some delicious margaritas.

Sunday, June 23rd was another amazing day. My little sister (Lea) will be entering her senior year of college with a degree in pastoral studies. This summer she is interning at the Methodist Church in our hometown. On June 23rd my baby sister got to deliver her first ever sermon in front of the congregation. It was incredible, I was so proud. In a week she will be leading the entire service. It’s crazy to think that she is only 20 years old and she is already making such a difference and doing what she loves.

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June 29th was another big day. Lea’s best friend from childhood had her baby shower for her first born due in September. This little girl was my second little sister. She would stay over at our house almost every night in the summer. We haven’t spoken in years so seeing her beautiful pregnant self again was wonderful.

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Finally, on June 30th I got to introduce my mom to one of my most favorite series in the world, the Avengers. For all you super nerds out there, you would know that Marvel studios rereleased Avengers: Endgame to share some post credit scenes that were not in the first release. My mom has never watched any Marvel movie so when I jokingly asked if she would go with me and she said yes, I was shocked. I had to fill her in on as much as I could before and throughout the movie but it made me so happy when she looked at me when it was over and said how great it was and how she wants to go back and watch all 21 previous movies.

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June was fast but great. I can’t wait for the next 2 months of summer to see what fun and random things are in store for me!