So, the bright side of staying at home are that I have been able to shift the pendulum of a very hectic life pre-pandemic to a life that is much slower and family focused. I can log 7-8 hours of sleep per night, take a jog in the middle of the day, play with my kids, do some housework, knit, etc. Every day I can accomplish much of these activities. Pre-pandemic I was too tired to even think about any activity and I was irritable. The last 6 weeks has granted me the space to slow down and be grateful for my family and teaching.
Teaching? I miss our band room! I have been back twice for a total of 40 minutes. I miss all the students. The laughter, the chatter, the music. Oh the music! We have had a stellar year! New uniforms, new football turf, new instruments, Disney trip, and magical performances.
Today, we learn and teach from home. A new balance of professional and personal has taken place. Dogs barking while in virtual meetings/classrooms. The kids that live in my house needing things while teaching as well as their own education. It's not ideal, but it's important to have some sort of routine in place.
To my students: this is all so weird! You have chosen to play in band for all sorts of reasons. I am not sure how many of those reasons are in place right now, but I am doing my best to keep things relevant. No one knows how long this will last and we are approaching the month of May. If I have to be honest I am did enjoy the month of March and April. But May? I am dreading this month. You see the month of May is when we say goodbye to the school year and hello to the new school year at the same time. So much happens in the month of May!
I don't have answers to the month of May. No one does. I anticipate stress and lots of questions from parents and students, but the answers remain elusive. This is a new place for me...for all of us. So I am going to look at the bright side. Focus on the things I can control. I will find ways to reach my students and keep them connected.
Students and parents: If you made it this far in this post I have some thoughts to pass along:
1) Stay connected. It doesn't take long, but connecting with your classmates, your learning, and your teachers is important. You may not see value, but there is!
2) Focus on what you can control. Let go of what you cannot.
3) Things are weird. Things are different. Go with it.
4) Traditions of years past will be revised so we can celebrate the rites of passages for the Class of 2020. Each school will be different around the country. What may seem cool for one graduation may not be ideal for another graduation.
5) When people ask for input or feedback give it with grace.
6) Your school staff is working so hard while trying to process this pandemic with the rest of the world. Be kind, be patient, be supportive.
7) Your education will not suffer. We are assigning work because we have to, but we are trying to assign work that has meaning. What teachers really want is to know you are ok. Check in, drop a note, value information.
8) After this is all over let's keep the good and leave the bad behind. The volunteering has been amazing! The support from neighbors and friends without expecting anything in return has been a refreshing perspective of selflessness.
9) I don't know if there will ever be a chance where we are forced as a society to slow down. Take advantage of the time and space to self-reflect.
10) Stay involved! In every aspect of pre-pandemic life find a way to be involved in your school, relationships, and community.
Take care, Band Family! I miss you all dearly.