I am unemployed again! I am not fully happy about it, but I am thankful that I had the opportuntiy to ply my craft once again. I had a great last class of students online who really engaged with the course content, nearly making me change my mind about retiring again. But, in the present climate, with so many governors, including the one for my state, not mandating state-wide masks, I couldn’t jeopardize my husband’s health or mine by returning to the classroom.
I had the option of a new type of teaching called Eclass, which is similar to online teaching but required a lot more learning of technology and didn’t allow me to interact with students. For me, the joy of teaching is the twice-weekly encounters with young minds who think so different from me and who, sometimes in rich and rewarding ways teach this old gal a thing or two.
That feeling is difficult to replicate in Zoom meetings, where, for the sake of recording the session, I needed to ask the students to not use their video. Lecturing to blank squares, not knowing if they are still in the room or somewhere playing video games, was discouraging, particularly when no one answered questions asked in my attempt to simulate the face to face vibe.
I will admit that I am tired, and that I look forward to blogging more and engaging with my blogging community, something I have not been able to do, mainly because I am an all-in-or-nothing kind of person. I don’t do anything halfway, maybe that’s a vestige of being raised by the people of the Greatest Generation, who pushed us to give our all in everything we did, or get a good spanking!
I have already found another way to channel my teaching: Bible studies on Wednesday might by Zoom to a small group at my former church in Tennessee. I can design Bible studies, which keeps me grounded in my Bible and using my God-given talents. I have recently been asked to guest preach by two churches via Zoom, after a year in which I had no opportunity to do so, and I am so excited by the invitations!
So, life works out, even in the midst of crises like this pandemic that will keep us isolated and divided for a while longer, at least until a decent vaccine is available. But, that doesn’t mean that we can’t still live our lives, just in new and adaptable ways.
My heart hurts for teachers and professors at schools, colleges, and universities who are required to teach with fear of transmitting the virus. Keeping children from ages 5 to 35 six feet apart from each other and from partying like it’s 2099 will be nearly impossible.
To my fellow educators, from kindergarten to university, it is my prayer that as a nation, we will start to demand that the President and Congress give to the “common” people the same testing capability that they have and make it widespread. For your sakes, we need to contain this virus, so that you can return safely to educating students in ways that do not put your families, parents, grandparents, and others in harm’s way. This is way overdo!