i wanted to document all the real and raw moments of teaching during a pandemic because it is quite the scenario that i never expected to take place so shortly after i began full-time teaching.

march 2020

this is when it all began. all my students started talking about covid, hearing about it from their parents and the news. my school ended up transitioning to full distance learning sometime in march. us teachers posted lessons everyday by 8am and students had until 4pm at the end of each week to complete their work on their own time throughout each day.

it was a new experience for all us teachers. i would host little classroom zoom meetings where we would play a game as a class to try and still stay connected. i would record daily read aloud videos where the students could just listen to a story that they enjoyed. we had our spring parent-teacher conferences over zoom.

june 2020

my first year of teaching was coming to a close, and it was so weird to have the last time my entire class be together to be over zoom. but, i hosted a live award ceremony where each scholar got presented with an award. i then spent one day driving to each of their homes to deliver their certificates in person. it was a sad way to end the year, but i am thankful i got to say goodbye to each of them.

august 2020

emails upon emails upon emails began flooding through with plans for the fall. masks. distancing. fully distance. no wait- hybrid. plans keep changing. stress levels rising.

we began the new school year at the end of the month with a hybrid situation. a handful of kids monday’s and tuesday’s. everyone online on wednesday’s and another handful on thursday’s and friday’s. day one approaches and seeing kids walk down the hallways again is incredible, but all i can see are their eyes. all they can see are my eyes. how do i talk to kids in person and kids on a screen? definitely an adjustment for us all.

september-november 2020

this way of learning is very systematic and getting old. every 2 days i’m having to prepare materials to give the students in person that they can have at home the days they are at home. and then there would be kids who are gone on the day i send them materials and then the next day they’re online telling me they can’t do their work since they don’t have their books. ugh. more stress.

every 6 weeks, preparing materials for my fully distance kiddos. 6 weeks of materials prepped, printed, labeled, and ready to go for the next month and a half. an entire building of teachers printing materials for 6 weeks for an entire class all at the same time. also this entire time, i’ve had a student in my class attending classes from a different country with no end point in returning back (i was told within the first two weeks of school).

november 2020

we were emailed one evening as a staff to inform us that we would be transitioning to full-time distance learning. this time we would be teaching synchronously, meaning that every lesson is taught live by me over zoom to my students. at least all my kiddos were in the same place for the first time this year- even if it was over a camera.

january 2021

we were informed yet again that our plans were changing and we were going back in person next month but this time we could go fully back in person!!

february 2021

it is february now and we’ve had just a couple weeks with all kiddos in the building again. we still have a handful from each class who have chosen to still do distance learning, but 17 in a class is at least better than 8 at a time. each day bring’s about it’s new challenges with re-teaching a class of 8 and 9 year olds what sitting at a desk and walking quietly down the hallways looks like. for some, this has been their first time in a classroom learning for almost a year. i love seeing their shining faces walking through my classroom each morning. masks are still worn. precautions are still in place. but it’s getting better.

each day is a day i can change lives. each day i can smile with my eyes to show my students that i care. each day i can show up and continue teaching despite all the reasons that make me not want to to show them that i am there for them. whatever it takes. even if that means dressing up as a pig for “dress like an animal day.” haha whatever it takes to show christ’s love to these kids everyday. they need it.

One response to “being an elementary teacher during a pandemic”

  1. Beth Avatar

    I teach middle school and am grateful for you sharing this. What a year we’ve had…!

    Liked by 1 person

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