I know most people feel that 2020 pretty much sucked. And to a certain extent, it did. However, for me it wasn’t so bad. Sure I missed my kiddos from March 13, 2020, on. Yes, I missed hanging out with friends and going to a music festival – it’s always around my birthday and a friend and I make a tradition of going. I absolutely missed going to see my family. It’s been over a year since I’ve been able to see my dad. I also missed going to conferences in person. And, I got fat! The sudden change in a routine did me no favors. Despite all this, I can say that 2020 wasn’t all that bad for me.
The Upside of 2020
The first few months were fine. Nothing extraordinary happened, personally. Sure there were concerns over the spread of Covid-19. Every time a student coughed another would shout out, “You’ve got Covid.” Clearly they didn’t understand the gravity of the situation – nor did we. As March progressed, things began to take a turn. March 13 was the last day I saw my class in its entirety. However, for me, it’s a bit more memorable than most. We had a field trip that day – to the beach. It may have been cold and overcast, but we still had fun. We were there learning about the environment with an organization (Save the Whales). Before we left, I got into a conversation with one of the volunteers. He was concerned about a shut down of schools. This was his only source of income and if schools shut down that would greatly impact his livelihood. I didn’t want to admit to him that I felt a shut down was inevitable. I felt for him. When we returned to school, I ran into another 5th-grade teacher. She asked if I had seen the email. I said, “No.” She proceeded to inform me that we would be out for a few weeks. Seeing as the following week was Spring Break it meant we would be out for approximately one week. Well, we all know how that turned out. As I had a bit of time before the end of the day, I was able to prepare my students. They had many questions for which I had no answers. Fast forward 10 months and we are still virtual. Our area has been hard hit.
I know, that didn’t seem so positive. But think about it. The last day my students were together we were on a field trip. That’s pretty cool. Other positive things occurred this year. The EduProtocol Field Guide Book 3: Math Edition, of which I am a co-author, was completed and ready to release to the world in Spring 2021. When Covid lock down began, my dad insisted that we call each day. Before Covid, we spoke once every few weeks. We have a good relationship, just didn’t talk regularly. Then, my district saw the value in a new position (3 positions): Tech TOSA (aka Coach). TOSA stands for Teacher On Special Assignment. At any rate, this is a position I have been longing for over the past few years. It took a pandemic for my district to create this position. I have been able to work with so many teachers in our district. This is truly filling my bucket. I work from home. As an introvert, this has been awesome! My family stayed healthy, mostly, during 2020. Then my dad had to go and get pneumonia just before Christmas. That was anxiety on steroids for me (he has severe COPD). But, he went home! Then went back in on New Year’s – seriously, not doing anything for my anxiety. Good news is that he is doing well and slated to go back home soon.
None of this is not to detract from those who lost loved ones (350K deaths to date), those who lost jobs, homes, and/or other things. I realize I am one of the lucky ones and am thankful. I support local businesses as much as I can. When others talk about how crappy 2020 was, I stay quiet. Their experiences are valid and need to be heard.
Well, here we are in the new year. I can only hope that things continue to trend in a positive direction. We now have 2 vaccines. While we still need to mask up and social distance, it is a step towards being together again. I look forward to going back home (Detroit), hopefully this summer, to see friends and family. I look forward to being in class with students – safely – and hopefully as a TOSA in the upcoming school year. I look forward to seeing all my EdTech friends at conferences IRL. I can’t wait to go to the annual music festival. As with the beginning of any new year, there is a lot of hope and optimism.
My Wish for You
May your 2021 be better and brighter than the past year. May all your hopes, desires, and dreams be fulfilled. May you be happy and healthy. Have a GREAT 2021!