March 17th, 2020 was the day I said goodbye to student teaching and goodbye to my students without even knowing it at the time. Then, we thought that we would get to come back in two weeks like no big deal, go back to our normal school routine, and I thought I would get to finish my semester of student teaching. We were completely wrong, we didn't go back for the remainder of the year. Things started shutting down, all schools in Missouri closed, jobs were lost. It all of the sudden got too real and too crazy too fast. Schools went to virtual learning for the remainder of the school year.
This Summer has been overwhelming to say the least. Lots of unknowns and new plans have been set in place for schools. Some schools are doing virtual, some are doing in person, and some are offering both options. Today I actually saw one district come out with their plan of returning to school. They are requiring staff to wear masks, students 6th through 12th grade to wear masks and everybody has to wear one on the bus. But just 45 minutes away, that district is requiring mask wearing for everybody. Which is something I understand, but it's going to be incredibly hard to make sure elementary students don't play with them or act inappropriately with them. I'm teaching summer school right now and yes it's going smoothly, but the thought of not being able to provide the students with a lot of the socialization that they usually receive at school, groups activities, classroom libraries, or even morning work tubs is scary.
I wish that we could go back to normal and provide students with what they need, but I know that is not going to happen. I wish that I knew what my district was planning for reopening, but I don't. We start school in a few weeks and I still haven't gotten to get into my classroom as a first year teacher. I have no idea what to start with in my classroom or even who my students are.
I'm not scared to be in the classroom, but I'm scared for the students. I'm scare that they have lost so much since being out since March, I'm scared they will be behind, I'm scared they won't enjoy coming to school anymore because of all of the new rules. I'm scared it will become more like a prison for the time being. Everything is so unknown right now and that's gut wrenching. I pray that things will work out the way God intended because I know he has a plan, but this plan isn't a cool one.