Top 5 Things I Have Missed and Not Missed About Face-To-Face Teaching
I was listening to Cool Cat Teacher this morning and heard that they did a poll about the top things teachers missed and didn't miss about teaching face-to-face. I decided to write my own list to share with you.
Top 5 Things I HAVE missed.
Seeing my students smile! Overall I just miss my students (as I'm sure most of us do). I miss seeing them smile when they walk in the door, I miss seeing them smile when they get something or get a good grade on a test, or just when they are playing around. I just miss them! I cannot wait until next week when a small handful of them return for face-to-face instruction.
Lunch bunch. If you have read my previous blog you will know how much I love to do lunch bunches in my class. This is our time to reconnect and talk without having academics to worry about. I am hoping that we are allowed to do this once we go back next week because it would be a great way to further connections with my students who I haven't seen all year.
Interacting with my co-workers. I miss my teacher friends. My family is great about listening to my work problems, and they for the most part listen to me vent after a long day. But, it will be nice to talk with people who truly "get" the joys and struggles of being a teacher.
Class parties. Prior to virtual teaching, I would typically have one class party a month. They were small parties and were always earned by playing “Teacher Vs. Students”, but they gave my students a chance to just have fun with their classmates for 15 minutes one Friday a month. I got to see who my students were, connect with them, and just interact with them on a non-academic level. I miss these parties and am hoping that we can resume them once we go back in person next week.
Staff luncheons. My admin has always been great about connecting the staff together with food. We would typically have a luncheon once every 6 to 8 weeks where we would have a potluck, or the admin would bring in catered food for us. It is a great way to connect with lots of staff who we didn’t typically talk to because they weren’t on our grade level team.
Top 5 Things I HAVEN'T missed
Holding my bladder. This was number one for me because it seems like no matter what I try, I always have to pee! I love coffee and I love to keep hydrated with lots of water throughout the day, so having to use the restroom is a real issue. It has been so nice to have my bathroom less than 50 feet from my virtual classroom. Now with the schedule change, and going back to in-person teaching, I have to go as long as 90 minutes without using the restroom, plus when I do have to go it is about a 3-minute walk from my class. The struggle is real!
Staff meetings around the budget. Every year around March or April we start having staff meetings around the school budget. Every year this is an issue, and there are always a ton of arguments over budget, and it drives me insane! I hate arguing, and I get that teachers just want what is best for our students, but staff meetings around budget are stressful and seem to bring out the worst in some teachers. With virtual learning, we had these staff meetings online, and I could leave the meeting or tune out the complaining teachers. Now that we are going back in person, I know that next year around this time these in-person meetings will start again, and the stress will start again.
Fire drills. Seriously, is there any teacher who enjoys fire drills? In addition to fire drills, I hate lockdown drills (now those are scary). For fire drills, the lining up of the kids, the kids who scream when they hear the bell, the being quiet. It is all too much and such a disruption to our day. The lockdown drills are just scary, especially if you are teaching the younger grades. For my students, lockdown drills always start conversations about school shootings, and then actual neighborhood shootings, so they can be stressful to my students.
Opening and closing of the gates to the parking lot. I know this sounds silly, but I HATE dealing with the gate to the parking lot that I use. It is hard to open, hard to close, and hard to lock. Some days I would rather park across campus and walk the five minutes to my class than have to deal with the gate. I have smashed my hand in the lock, hit my car on it (the gate totally jumped out at me!), and have on more than one occasion forgotten to lock it or close it after I have parked.
Getting dressed up. I have enjoyed wearing comfortable clothes and minimal make-up for the past year. It takes me about 20 minutes to get ready in the morning, and I have become the queen of leggings and a messy bun. However, starting today I will be around adult humans again, and feel the need to dress much more professionally than I have for the past year. I have a closet full of nice clothes and have not worn many of them for a year. I have also gained about 8 pounds since we started virtual teaching, so my clothes aren’t fitting quite the same way they used to (hoping that this will come to an end now that I don’t have access to a whole refrigerator all day). I know many teacher's outfits won’t change much, but I have always dressed tried to dress business casual when I’m at school so starting today, back to dresses and regular pants instead of leggings and jean shorts.
What are the things you miss and don’t miss about in-person teaching?