Today is a day off that was unexpected (well, it should have been expected but time has gotten away from me). I’ve been working double hours for no extra pay because that’s how life is now with coronavirus. And I’m grateful that I have a job, because I know that so many people aren’t as lucky. I’m teaching online, and in person, dealing with a boss who demands excellence and keeps sending out promotional videos about how brilliantly his school is dealing with this crisis – all while he has multiple staff members crying in their classrooms, unable to sleep, unable to eat, stressed to within an inch of their lives… getting yelled at by parents who don’t want us to call when their kids don’t show up for class, but we’re required to, so now we stress out when we go to pick up the phone, or write an email, or check our emails…

Anyway, by sheer necessity our collective and individual standards have to drop. I  feel a level of relief because I can’t worry to the degree that I usually would about the quality of a lesson, an interaction with parents and students and colleagues, the amount of time I’m not spending finding new and more exciting resources to build into units… I simply can’t and none of us can and it’s liberating. I just have to hold on to that and keep myself to that lowered standard. I know I won’t. My anxiety levels will rise again, probably very soon, but for now I am going to try to make this my new normal. Competent is fine. Learning is fine. Stumbling is fine while we figure out this new format. I’m told that. I tell others that. Today I feel like maybe I can believe it for myself.

And I have a day off. I slept 8 hours. I went for a walk. I had time to make myself a cup of coffee. It’s the best I’ve been in a long while. And I know tomorrow will be harder. This afternoon might be too. Hell, an hour from now I might feel like crap. But I have already had two successes. Go me.


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