Weekend Coffee Share: Back To School

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it has been weeks since I have felt the urge to blog. Going back to school has been exhausting – even more so than usual because of the Covid protocols. It has taken a couple of weeks for us all to get used to it – in another few weeks, it may begin to feel like normal.

If we were having coffee, you may ask me what protocols are being implemented. I would tell you that the most tiring one is wearing a mask from the time I enter the school premises to the time I leave. Breathing in my carbon dioxide does fatigue me – as does trying to teach with my mouth and nose covered. I find myself needing to make more of an effort not only with breathing but also with speaking. In addition, the children are also wearing mask and it does make it harder for me to hear them and understand what they are saying.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the masks we are wearing have been provided by the school board and are medical grade masks – I can smell it as soon as I put one on. We are expected to wear the masks provided and no other; and to change them frequently. In addition to the masks, we are expected to wash and/or sanitize our hands frequently.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the children also need to wash/sanitise their hands often. We go through the routine each time they enter the classroom and exit to go out for recess/lunch/home. By the end of the day yesterday, I noticed that the children now have the rhythm of cleaning their hands so often.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my teaching practice has had to change a little. No longer do round tables fill my room: I needed to switch to individual desks due to the Covid expectation of maintaining physical distance between the students. At the beginning of the year, my room looked bare with only the essential furniture in it.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am happy it is the weekend. I am feeling tired and look forward to resting a little. Once I have done my weekend chores, I intend to read and probably nap in the afternoon. On Sunday afternoon, I will figure out what to teach in the upcoming week – and start thinking how I will read with each child and still maintain physical distance.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Eclectic Ali and the Weekend Coffee Share)

37 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share: Back To School

  1. i’m right there with you, colline. with all of the protocols in place, it is exhausting, but i’m glad everyone is being safe, so worth it. no time during the day to plan, meet or talk, so once we get home we begin to do the other part of our work and days are long. i am so happy to see the kids and families again and know it will not be forever. sleep is my friend

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are so right Beth. I tell the children we must keep it up as we don’t want to have a spread in our school community. Thankfully the parents help make it easier by providing masks for them as following the rule to not enter the school. And even though we have to do all this, it is good to be back at school and face to face with my students.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. If we were having coffee, I’d tell you you’re a hero! Not just now, but, essentially, always!! It’s the dedication and sacrifices of our teachers that make every other profession possible! You create the opportunities young adults have, by preparing them the best you can! I’d most definitely buy you a cup of coffee ☕️

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  3. Colline all I can say is thank you so much for the hard work you do in the classroom and all the changes and adjustments that you are working through yourself and with the children. You are doing a great job. Thank you for keeping yourself and our children safe.

    Thanks for the virtual coffee. I hope you get some mask free and feet up relax time this weekend.

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  4. I wondered how you were doing with the new protocols. My daughter-in-law is a teacher and back at school, and has found it exhausting, too. You deserve a weekend of rest and relaxation. My thoughts are with all of the teachers who offer so much to educate our children.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Colline,

    I have so many friends in the same spot you are. One, we know from church and she is a seasoned kindergarten teacher who is used to being very close to her students. The new protocols are crushing her. We are not allowed back into classrooms yet, so all her interactions are via Zoom and her prep takes easily over twice as long. She too is exhausted.

    Teachers are among the hardest working and most clever people I know.
    We’re going to get through this.
    Thanks for hanging in there.

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    1. It is hard for k-2 teachers – especially as centres are not allowed and sensory play. When I peek into the kindergarten classroom now, it looks like a classroom in the ’50s as the appearance of the new teaching methods has been taken away.
      As for teaching online, I agree that it is more exhausting with the smaller kids especially as they are unable to do things independently. And the prep for the lessons takes such a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. These are immense challenges you are facing every day Colline! Here the teacher’s worst challenge is the parents nowadays, sending sick kids to school, and getting mad when they are being called to pick them up. People are so tired of the restrictions, and yet we do not have nearly as many restrictions as you have. I feel for you. Thank you for the update and coffee.

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    1. We have been two weeks back at school and two children have stayed home already because they are sick and the parents answered no to the list of questions they have to ask everyday. I am thankful to be working in a community where the parents take this all seriously – because normally those kids would be sent to school sick!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is very fortunate! I feel that the parents here were very respectful this spring, when we were open and many other schools around the world were closed, but now it’s been going on for sop long…some lost their jobs..it gets harder for everyone.

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  7. I can imagine how hard it is. Not as a teacher, but in the front office in a big school it is hard with the protocols. It is a real challenge, and things keep changing. I feel like you, exhausted. I feel with you Colline.

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    1. Often those in the front office are the first line of defense. At our school we are lucky to have someone who is on top of things despite constant changes. And, as you say, it is exhausting. But we all keep smiling 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It is VERY Hard, now.Eventually, we will find a workable normal. Teachers and healthcare providers are the bravest and smartest during this this crisis. Hang in there.

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  9. You have my heartfelt sympathy, Colline. I wear a mask whenever it is appropriate but always for the minimum time possible. Leisurely shopping is a thing of the past. I’m surprised that the children are also required to wear a mask. So many theories and trains of thought. Step away from the blog and make the most of your time at home. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Colline! I’ve been on a break and came back with Sunday Stills last week! As a fellow educator, I feel your pain. I would hate to have to go through what you are going through (I despise wearing a mask), but I feel encouraged that you and the kids can physically be at school together. Not so here in Northern California. I’m teaching my university classes online. Students weary quickly of zoom sessions. Good luck and hang in there!

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    1. All university students here are also doing online schooling – and high school students are half day in class and half day online. It is only the elementary schools that have the option of in class or virtual.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for your coffee share, Colline. You deserve a restful weekend. It’s hard to wear a mask and teach all day. You’re providing an essential service to the students and their families. Hope your upcoming week gets easier.

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  12. I was wondering what had happened to you… I can imagine that it is very tiring to teach this way. I wear a mask only when shopping, and I can’t wait to pluck it off my face when I get to my car. If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am now so tired of this Covid nonsense, and that we should just be getting on with our lives now. I need to be able to go and visit my little granddaughter and get to know her on a personal level, not only through video calls. Good luck on your side! 🙂

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  13. Hi Colline
    In our neck of the woods schools were supposed to gradually start reopening today but nothing has been in place to ensure covid protocol and the teachers are low key taking industrial action citing incapacitation..its a bit of mess.
    And some schools have rather outrageous requirements like that parents should ensure the kids have masks matching school uniforms…
    crazy really
    ~B

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