Hello Teacher! Day 173

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Hello Teacher! Day 173

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Hello Teacher! Day 173
During my mandatory mask break today with one of my classes, I overheard a teacher wishing another teacher "Happy June!" Sweet words every year, but especially this June, after the historic year we have just endured…
May 2021 will go down in history as the month that ushered in a seismic shift in everyone's schedule. The pandemic created a much needed pause, and then May rushed in and overturned, or, at least attempted, to negate any possibility of creating a permanent pause in my routine. I can honestly say that during this month I experienced a complete 180 degree change in my schedule. Change is good, right, but I truly miss the longer lunch time in between my two morning classes and my two afternoon classes; I truly miss preparing lunch for me and my youngest son, who was also learning from home; I miss having enough time to teach my classes and then enjoying the five or ten-minute reflection in between classes; I miss having the time to wonder what to cook for dinner and having time for a morning walk and time almost every day for a full yoga/meditation session. I don't miss the social isolation which involved staying in my house for days or weeks, either because I had nowhere to go or because there was a stay at home/ shelter in place mandate; I most definitely don't miss the despair of bad news day after day as the pandemic fatality rates increased; and now, I can say that I don't miss wearing masks…
You heard that right, here in Massachusetts there are so many of us vaccinated that we are getting close to herd immunity so wearing masks in most places has become optional, and required only at the discretion of the shopkeeper, and on airplanes, trains, etc. So many changes have really pushed my body and mind to the point of exhaustion, and I am feeling the weight of it now, thanks to the long month of May. I felt like I could not keep going and then the long weekend came along and it's as if the universe knew exactly what I needed and gave me three days of rain. Three days to pause, nap, three days to do very little except cancel plans and watch Netflix and it kind of felt like what staying home during the pandemic felt like, only it was sweeter because now staying home has become an intentional decision, not a public health mandate. As much as many of us railed against the safety guidelines and restrictions during the pandemic, I have come to realize that it gave me the opportunity to slow down and notice how incredibly busy and overbooked I was. Each day was full of plans, the calendar was heavy with scheduling, every hour on the hour penciled in, overwhelmed with due dates. The restrictions forced me to realize that over-scheduling is not healthy for my relationships, not just the ones with other people, but the most important one, the relationship with myself. 
Slowing down made me take a good long look at the way I was mistreating myself with the constant business of being busy. I realized that I had been neglecting my own needs with the frantic pace of my life. I might have been addicted to constant activity. In the beginning of the shutdown, it became impossible to ignore that nagging voice begging for something to do! somewhere to go! some distraction please! Anything to take me away from my self, from the familiarity of this space, this face, these people who call themselves my family. Now that my life is full again, or let me clarify full of distractions again, I'm not going to forget about the little things I noticed about myself and others. I noticed that I really don't need that much to feel satisfied. I realize that my teenage sons (who I love to the moon and back) have terrible attitudes, which were being disguised by all of their rambunctious activities. I realize that my partner is determined to stick to his schedule no matter what, and surprisingly he was able to do that during the pandemic. I realize that I really like connecting with my friends with a very simple walk and/or a cup of coffee. 
Change is good because it creates a new perception of the way things really are. I realized that teaching, like life, does not have to be complicated. What I need are very simple things, like feeling a sense of accomplishment which can be felt after something as simple as a delightful conversation, for example. Teaching does not have to be complicated because we humans strive for simplicity. I learned that my teaching needs to deepen this sense of self-awareness and reflection, so my lessons must provide opportunities for all of that to happen: more conversations, less busy work, more assignments that provide a connection to self and therefore a greater sense of belonging to others. Growth does not have to be measured by how much can be seen on the outside, but rather how satisfied you feel on the inside. How can that be measured? What data would support that pedagogical finding? Perhaps a smile or at least a sense of ease in our interactions, yes, that is proof enough.

Creator

Heidi Chase

Date

06/01/2021

Contributor

Heidi Chase

Date created

6/1/21

Text

June 1, 2021 Hello Teacher! Day 173
During my mandatory mask break today with one of my classes, I overheard a teacher wishing another teacher "Happy June!" Sweet words every year, but especially this June, after the historic year we have just endured…
May 2021 will go down in history as the month that ushered in a seismic shift in everyone's schedule. The pandemic created a much needed pause, and then May rushed in and overturned, or, at least attempted, to negate any possibility of creating a permanent pause in my routine. I can honestly say that during this month I experienced a complete 180 degree change in my schedule. Change is good, right, but I truly miss the longer lunch time in between my two morning classes and my two afternoon classes; I truly miss preparing lunch for me and my youngest son, who was also learning from home; I miss having enough time to teach my classes and then enjoying the five or ten-minute reflection in between classes; I miss having the time to wonder what to cook for dinner and having time for a morning walk and time almost every day for a full yoga/meditation session. I don't miss the social isolation which involved staying in my house for days or weeks, either because I had nowhere to go or because there was a stay at home/ shelter in place mandate; I most definitely don't miss the despair of bad news day after day as the pandemic fatality rates increased; and now, I can say that I don't miss wearing masks…
You heard that right, here in Massachusetts there are so many of us vaccinated that we are getting close to herd immunity so wearing masks in most places has become optional, and required only at the discretion of the shopkeeper, and on airplanes, trains, etc. So many changes have really pushed my body and mind to the point of exhaustion, and I am feeling the weight of it now, thanks to the long month of May. I felt like I could not keep going and then the long weekend came along and it's as if the universe knew exactly what I needed and gave me three days of rain. Three days to pause, nap, three days to do very little except cancel plans and watch Netflix and it kind of felt like what staying home during the pandemic felt like, only it was sweeter because now staying home has become an intentional decision, not a public health mandate. As much as many of us railed against the safety guidelines and restrictions during the pandemic, I have come to realize that it gave me the opportunity to slow down and notice how incredibly busy and overbooked I was. Each day was full of plans, the calendar was heavy with scheduling, every hour on the hour penciled in, overwhelmed with due dates. The restrictions forced me to realize that over-scheduling is not healthy for my relationships, not just the ones with other people, but the most important one, the relationship with myself. 
Slowing down made me take a good long look at the way I was mistreating myself with the constant business of being busy. I realized that I had been neglecting my own needs with the frantic pace of my life. I might have been addicted to constant activity. In the beginning of the shutdown, it became impossible to ignore that nagging voice begging for something to do! somewhere to go! some distraction please! Anything to take me away from my self, from the familiarity of this space, this face, these people who call themselves my family. Now that my life is full again, or let me clarify full of distractions again, I'm not going to forget about the little things I noticed about myself and others. I noticed that I really don't need that much to feel satisfied. I realize that my teenage sons (who I love to the moon and back) have terrible attitudes, which were being disguised by all of their rambunctious activities. I realize that my partner is determined to stick to his schedule no matter what, and surprisingly he was able to do that during the pandemic. I realize that I really like connecting with my friends with a very simple walk and/or a cup of coffee. 
Change is good because it creates a new perception of the way things really are. I realized that teaching, like life, does not have to be complicated. What I need are very simple things, like feeling a sense of accomplishment which can be felt after something as simple as a delightful conversation, for example. Teaching does not have to be complicated because we humans strive for simplicity. I learned that my teaching needs to deepen this sense of self-awareness and reflection, so my lessons must provide opportunities for all of that to happen: more conversations, less busy work, more assignments that provide a connection to self and therefore a greater sense of belonging to others. Growth does not have to be measured by how much can be seen on the outside, but rather how satisfied you feel on the inside. How can that be measured? What data would support that pedagogical finding? Perhaps a smile or at least a sense of ease in our interactions, yes, that is proof enough.

Rights

Heidi Chase

Note

There are many pages, thanks for reading!

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Citation

hidey1949, “Hello Teacher! Day 173,” COVID-19 Chronicles: Worcester's Community Archive, accessed July 14, 2024, http://worcestercovid19.org/items/show/744.