Just Don't Think About It
It's not so bad as long as I don't think about it. That was my realization about remote learning last week. I felt like Wile E. Coyote looking down after running five feet off a cliff.
I was going on a good streak of a week or two. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I was feeling better.
Then one night, my neighbor, another teacher asked how school was going. Something about the question, asked by someone who actually knows what a classroom feels like compared to remote teaching... I felt something click in my mind.
Around the same time I looked at the days of school I had counted with my students and realized we are less than halfway through the school year. This same week my colleagues who teach in person were forced to teach remotely for a week due to covid cases in our school building. "I can't believe it's been a full week of remote learning," one of them said.
And so it dawned on me (again) how long I've been doing this and how long I have left to go.
I don't like coming back to this space again and again to talk about the soul crushing nature of remote learning, but the Groundhog Day-ness of covid has been well-established, so here I am.
I hate remote learning. I have moments and days where I feel successful at engaging kids. There are times where they are laughing, talking, and sometimes even learning. But there are so many other moments of silence.
We - teachers and students and families - have been remarkably adaptive and resilient through this all. I do think we're getting better at it all. But I worry that one of the most effective adaptations I've developed is dissociating.
I'm going to have to come up with something better than that to get through five more months of this.