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Pace Yourselves

February 22, 2021 am28 11:44 am

Today, February 22, 2021, is the first day back from break. In the fall we have days off here and there – but in the spring we move from break to break uninterrupted. This year, mercifully, there are just five weeks from Winter Break to Spring Break – but that’s five uninterrupted weeks. (And we have 7 weeks after until Memorial Day – just a long weekend, but I don’t want to think about that. Not yet.)

The stretch from Winter Break to Spring Break is always the toughest of the year, under normal circumstances. We start full of energy, but by the time that last Friday comes we are wondering what took it so long. Teaching takes stamina. It is exhausting. Under normal circumstances.

This is traumatic. Has Richard Carranza watched 19 hours of video on trauma-informed supervision? “In Unity” he certainly hasn’t.

These are not normal circumstances. This teaching is exhausting. Preparation is different, and hard. Screen time is off the charts. Grading takes forever. Sitting still for hours is tiring. And hurts. All the normal interactions are changed, or gone. The pleasure in teaching is social, and it helps make up for how hard teaching is. And now that aspect is barely there, or completely gone.

And I do not have a colleague in the next room or down the hall to support me. At the end of each day when I was a brand new teacher I was drained, wiped out. But the days were shorter than today. And I was a quarter of a century younger. This is traumatic. Has Richard Carranza watched 19 hours of video on trauma-informed supervision? “In Unity” he certainly hasn’t.

So, it’s tough teaching. And I didn’t mention the possibility hanging over our heads of in-person instruction restarting. Then restopping. Then rerestarting. And rererestopping. I’m not sure how badly this plays out for an elementary teacher with all the subjects for her class, I’m guessing it’s very disruptive. But for subject area classes in high schools (and some middle schools) – whoa – that’s not good for education. But with Mulgrew, Carranza, Cuomo, Weingarten, de blasio, and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal all in on getting some of us in….

I’ll cut this short. These five weeks are going to be long. Very long. Try to slow down. Try to pace yourself. Your colleagues will not be able to see if you are struggling. You have to be responsible more than usual for taking care of yourself. Slow down. Pace yourself. Five weeks.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2021 pm28 2:02 pm 2:02 pm

    Well said.


  2. Maryellen Ambrosio permalink
    February 22, 2021 pm28 5:04 pm 5:04 pm

    Here’s one elementary schools have Parent Teacher conferences on March 4th. Report cards are due March 19th. Who’s the “rocket scientist “ in the DOE? Ugh mea

    Sent from my iPhone


    • February 22, 2021 pm28 5:21 pm 5:21 pm

      It’s not malicious. We knew that Klein and Bloomberg hated us. It’s thoughtless. They don’t think about kids, about us, about consequences.

      I’d like to know why the UFT leadership doesn’t object when the calendars are published.

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