“I’m a third grade school teacher”

I am a third grade school teacher. We’re in our 6th week of distance learning for our students. This is not something I was trained to do. They are learning so much about technology and problem-solving. I mean it is, it is so cool to see an email come from a child rather than an adult asking a question about how something has to be done.

I can sense their angst. I can sense their frustration. You know at our last grade level meeting we talked about different standards. Different standards of each subject that need to be covered yet and that we need to record on the report card. But the more I think about it is I really am not too worried about those standards. I really don’t care. What’s more important to me is those kids, and getting them through the trauma and the uncertainty that comes with this pandemic. So often I’ll have a child say “Do I have to do this?” and it’s like, no you don’t. To me, it’s just a blessing to see their faces on the Zoom screen each day. And to see that they’re okay.

And I’ve also found that it’s good for them to talk to each other. They don’t have a way to do that right now. They can’t play with their friends. They’re stuck in their house with their family and they just need to talk to their friends, you know.
And when I’m present in Zoom, it doesn’t always work so well. So what I’m starting to do now is when I’m finished with what I need to cover, I think guys let’s let’s break into some breakout rooms and just talk to each other. It is the longest three minutes of my day waiting for them to come back from the break room. And I know that when I joined one of their breakup rooms, they just stop talking because I’m there and they think I need to take over. Even if I tell them I don’t. But when they come back from the break out room, they’re smiling so beautifully because they’ve just had a chance to talk to their friends. They can’t meet them on the playground. They can’t meet them in a classroom, but they can meet them in a Zoom breakout room.

To me the most important thing that I want my kids to remember is who they are and whose they are. I don’t really care if they remember addition and subtraction and multiplication and division. I don’t care if they don’t know the parts of speech. When when fourth grade begins for these guys there are there are going to be pieces to pick up. But I want their brains to be able to work properly. I don’t want them to be burned out. I just want them to be able to continue on.

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