We went through the day thinking that something was going to give, again. We watch CBS Sunday Morning where they had to replay a previous episode because they could not produce one this week. There were reruns of sporting events on TV, and Iowa teachers were tiptoeing around wondering, “Will school be canceled?”
Three of our neighboring states (MN, WI, IL) all canceled Friday night into Saturday, so we were on edge. But as they day wore on with no word, I was ready to head to school, talk to my students about the “what ifs”, then get into the learning.
However, that was shattered at 9:00 PM tonight with our governor recommending all Iowa pk-12 schools shut down for 30 days. We had new cases in Iowa along with two cases within 10 miles of our home. We were at our daughter’s boyfriend’s house have supper with their family when the news came through. He (boyfriend’s dad) is in agricultural sales, so he’s grounded for a while. His wife is a paraprofessional at the school, so in the same boat as the rest of us.
30 days without seeing smiling faces.
30 days without my team of sixth-grade teachers.
30 days without the warmth of the classroom full of students.
30 days on wondering about where the virus will pop up next.
Already my wife, a teacher as well, is putting together lists of things to do our house because the days of hitting the local brewery are gone with this announcement.
We’ll see where this takes us.
Update: 3:50 AM
So, I’ve spent the night tossing and turning, not sleeping because of the announcement by our district that we’d be shutting things down. I’m worried about my students and the fact they had no lead time to get themselves prepared for this sudden change. How many of them are dealing with the fact they have no breakfast and will have no lunch over the coming weeks? How many are dealing with the stress of parents telling them they are in charge of younger siblings and not to call them at work? How many are trying to wrap their own heads around the fact they need to STAY HOME and not go to a friend’s house? How many parents were totally blindsided by this announcement who are now struggling to find daycare? How many of us teachers are struggling to find meaningful ways to create distance learning when we’ve NEVER done something like this before? How many students will look at our efforts and go “whatever”, tuning us out for 30 days? I know we’ll receive “guidance” sometime in the next week, but I’m not sure if that will be enough. We’ll see how that whole “building the airplane while it’s in the air” adage goes over the next month.
I know part of my day will be being “accessible online” whatever that means. But, I’m planning on getting at least three books read, my basement cleaned, my seeds ordered and started (I’m missing my garden right now), and we’ll see what else I can get on my list. I’ll need to check up on my parents (both are 75 almost 76) along with seeing if my daughters will be moving back here or not. Both universities have said they’ll do online/distance learning until the first week of April, but if we are out until April 16th, I find it hard to believe they’ll have a face to face session for the rest of the semester.
I agree, this needed to be done based on what I wrote about Saturday night: two separate breweries, full of people, acting as if nothing was wrong. At the time, I felt as though something was amiss. I’d scrolled through the Reddit from Italy, I know there were people out there suffering, yet, here we were enjoying a night out (a rarity for us anyway!).
Just like last week it got real for America, tonight, it got real for Iowa. How much more real do we need? A parent catching the virus? A student?
Not sure what the next 30 days will bring, but by josh, I’ll have slices now, won’t I?
Thank you for reading today. I may try to get a couple of hours of sleep because I know I’ll need to start thinking about my students. Right now, I just want to make a big cocoon and tell the world to stay away.
Not practical, but we’ll be beautiful coming out of it! 🙂
March 15, 2020 at 11:02 pm
Try to stay connected virtually! Use zoom to keep the connection going strong. It’s hard.
March 15, 2020 at 11:08 pm
We’ll try Zoom or Google Meet for sure. I’m planning on podcasting, talking about current events, along with reading our social studies book onto audio files.
However, this idea of distance learning on fly, i’m not a big fan. Connect, yes. Distance learning is tough for adults, for middle schoolers? We’ll see! 🙂
March 16, 2020 at 5:05 am
The news though expected is shattering. We are closed now until April 7. No restaurants opened. No libraries. This will be day two of no school. What will this closure mean? Stay tune until Wednesday for an announcement.
March 16, 2020 at 10:04 pm
We’ll see what the closure will mean for us too. Lots of email, lots of anxiety, not a lot of answers.
March 16, 2020 at 3:24 pm
Yes, you should have lots and lots of slices as a way to document this strange time in our lives.
March 16, 2020 at 10:03 pm
Strange, indeed! 🙂