A Year of Exhaustion

This is a reboot blog post. I have not been blogging lately.

Because I have been tired. Because I have been teaching in two modes five or six periods every day, and I have nearly 30 students in my room for much of the day. And I have been pretty scared of getting sick. And maybe dying. Although I eventually got less worried, at least consciously.

I have also been tired because this school year has involved lots of schedule changes and students coming and going from my class, making it different to develop a class culture in each period. Without a coherent class culture, it becomes difficult to have the great class discussions that lead to great learning. In a normal year, I generate energy and engagement in the room and the students generate it back, and energy flows both ways, and so teaching is… energizing.

Most of the time this year, however, my most of my students seem to tired and stressed to bring a lot of energy, and so there is a lot of slumping and staring and playing cell phones and I try to provide all the energy, which flies out into my classroom and is sucked up into a vortex of low energy. And none of it comes flowing back out to me. Nothing escapes a black hole – not even light.

So this school year has been about surviving. I have taught. I have done the comic strip. This blog has fallen by the wayside.

But there are glimmers of hope – class periods that start to work. Student writing and discussion that show actual signs of life. And I got my first dose of the vaccine last week on my birthday of all days!

And now I find ideas about teaching in a pandemic, and teaching in general, are starting build up inside my head. I have written some of them down. And so I think I’m going to start blogging again.

Look – I already started!