Hello internet! I had to look back and remind myself that the last time I wrote on here was in April. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking (and overthinking) and reflection during this period of quarantine, but I found myself coming back to this blog. It’s something I’ve wanted to work on but I’ll admit it’s been difficult and typically not on my mind on a day-to-day basis, even without the impact of the current pandemic. These last seven months have felt so much longer as we come to the end of another calendar year, and I’m not sure what to expect in the next.
Here’s a quick update of what’s been going on with me in the last 7 months (and I’ll get into it more of some of that in other posts). I wrapped up my 6th year of teaching online instead of in a classroom. It was a weird ending that lacked real closure. Goodbyes were said through a screen and wishes for safety and good health were sent. In those 6 years I learned a lot but something I had known for a few of those years was that I needed to branch out and find something different. A few interviews later, I received a job offer and took it. I moved to a new city and have been adjusting to a new school during a pandemic, which has been taking a significant toll on me mentally (I will DEFINITELY get into this more in other posts).
It was mid-March when the world changed. I had students in front of me when the president of our school announced over the loud speaker that school would close for the next two weeks. It was in the middle of the day in the middle of a class. I think we all anticipated the announcement that was coming, although the adults in the building weren’t given any sort of head’s up. Some students cheered and celebrated but I don’t think any of us knew what was to come.
As faculty, I had no idea what to prepare for. I felt so flustered that I left most of my things on my desk at work. When school closed we pretty much immediately transitioned to remote learning. I barely remember but I think we had one “day off” to prepare. So many teachers experienced this and I think about that often. How, once again, teachers were expected to have all the answers and do everything needed in a dire situation without support.
Even though I’ve changed positions and schools, I’m still teaching remotely. I haven’t been in a classroom since March. I have been struggling through this pandemic, again, as I’m sure other teachers and people have. I’ve questioned my career and profession before, but I don’t think I’ve ever questioned it as frequently as I have in the last four months.
I write this to hit the restart button for myself. I push it to return to the goal I set for myself over a year ago to start a blog and write for myself, other teachers, and those who experience anxiety and depression. I push restart to make room for creative space in my life as I navigate this difficult time. I push restart in order to try and focus on the present as much as possible, even when guilt of the past or fear of the future creep into my mind and thoughts.
My mission remains the same, to share how anxiety and depression affect me as an educator, especially during these challenging times. I hope my future posts can serve as some sort of comfort, or at least be something to relate to in a time where people may be isolated and feel alone. To those who may be going through similar experiences, you are not alone.