A year ago today, I posted this on my various social media. Thinking back, it was the midst of going from our April break into virtual that would last the rest of the school year, despite outcries of “Oh, we’ll be back in a few weeks!”
About a year ago today, I was set up at my Ikea fake wood kitchen table. White horizontal blinded window behind me. Notebooks. Various coloured pens. Headphones in. And literally screaming through the screen at my students to let me know they were ok. How are you? HOW. ARE. YOU?
I was chasing the 6YO and grabbing snacks for the (at the time) 8YO and trying to look cool and calm, and adding a jamboard whilst holding my stomach with my hand to remind myself to breath.
My mic was muted again, whoops. Students gently reminded me; smiled, and I thanked them. They messaged each other in the chat with “Hey! Want to meet in a breakout room later to chat?” and, during flextime, would come in the Google Meet to just talk to me. Chat. Dogs and cat pets roaming in the background. Younger siblings waving at me.
They were, in fact, better than me. Rising in a way of unflappable-ness and still finding space to be creative (“Mrs. Allum! Let me show you the photography I’ve been working on”), and just being themselves.
Today I stood in my classroom as students entered after a long weekend. Various levels of tiredness, as we chatted during gradual entry. I listened to them offer each other some ideas, rating each other’s fictional characters they are developing, and deciding why the Raptors have been so terrible.
They want to fundraise for Black Lives Matter, do a poetry slam, and discuss the upcoming Marvel movies. They want to me to listen to the new Harry Styles song, discuss what Will Smith should do now, and determine which Canadian NGO is closest to their hearts. They want to go over adding fractions with unlike denominators again, and all the while organize teams for soccer at recess.
We’re in good hands, this next generation.