WELL, THIS WASN’T THE (LESSON) PLAN…
So what does a teacher do when only two weeks into the school year, she realizes that she has not been left unscathed by the unfortunate exposure to the dreaded COVID virus?
She laughs at the irony of trying to avoid the illness in the first place, gets a little teary-eyed from the stress of knowing that her whole family is probably going to catch it now (and they have) and then feels the stress of realizing that she has just gotten all the routines established and has started the process of connecting with her students only to now have it come to a screeching, COVID-filled, halt. So, she does the only thing she can do:
SETS THE SCENE:
Tells the students, I am out for the week, but their job is to figure out why I am missing.
Sends links to a reading, grammar, and writing challenge for each day I am gone.
In exchange for their work each day, I send a clue as to where I am.
“I can tell you are in Florida.”
-Lizzie, student, Modern Literature
First, it’s a poem I wrote myself, alluding to needing to breathe fresh air and have my face in the sun (which could mean to get healthy, but may mean I am on a beach…). Then it’s some pictures. One of me with the bright blue sky in the background and one of my feet on a beach towel next to one of the many books I have read this week as I convalesced. Am I on a beach in the Caribbean? Or is this just a clever perspective in my back yard?
The great thing about all of this is that, while I would prefer to have not been ripped from my classroom for an abrasive cough and the need for multiple naps a day, I have been able to still be creative with my students and engage them with material we would cover eventually anyway, even while I am away. I have gotten to see who is able to follow directions and share homework via Google; I have seen who likes to write back and forth via email; I have seen a glimpse of who reaches out to make sure I am okay, while still playing along with the mystery of where I am.
My main desire for the first few weeks of school is to establish routines and make connections and I think that I still have been able to do that. All while trying to trick your kids into thinking I am really living it up on a beach somewhere and not wrapped up in a blanket in my bedroom trying not to infect my dog. 🙂 Even with this circumstance, I think the routines and connections are still being made. And I hope they have all had a little bit of fun, too.
Even so, I was very happy to get back to them on Friday.
Even if it wasn’t with a tan.
WEEK IN REVIEW: SEPTEMBER 6-9—USE THESE TO ASK YOUR KIDS WHAT THEY ARE LEARNING!
All classes received a Google slides show with a mystery teaser and then a slide for Tuesday through Thursday that provided them with the links to the document with the three challenges: reading, grammar, and writing. In exchange for completing the assignment each day and sharing their completed document with me, I sent them a clue about where I was. Most students did a wonderful job completed the tasks and getting the assignments shared with me.
Your Title Goes Here
We arrived to school on Tuesday after a long Labor Day Weekend to find that our QUIRKY and AMAZING English teacher had called in sick. “She had seemed fine on Friday,” someone said. “Little soon in the year for her to already be out of school don’t ya think?” said the principal. “She is probably flying to the Caribbean right now,” whispered one of her coworkers to her hallway neighbor.
But her students, while skeptical, just couldn’t shake the feeling that Courtney Vincent, was more than a lying teacher who just needed another day off. That there was more to her missing status than her love of sandy beaches and flavored drinks by the ocean.
Yes, these students would find the clues to know what really was going on with the most talented and
exciting English teacher they had ever met by playing…