Keeping Normalcy and Positivity at the Center

Yesterday was another very long work day, full of lots of different emotions. However, today I am just going to write about the good.
My kindergarten team had a zoom meeting with my principals and having a grade level meeting where concerns were heard and little victories were shared was helpful. Having principals who listen on their tippy toes, have empathy and take notes is a blessing, especially during times like these.
The meeting after the meeting is always a good one too, and having colleagues who you can laugh and cry with makes it possible to keep going and not feel alone and lost.
My school had shirts made for April for Autism awareness. I wore mine yesterday as we would usually wear the shirts on Thursday. Keeping traditions during challenging times helps.

Having parents who are patient and try new things with their children is amazing. Many are using google classroom, but that is not a platform that is user friendly for kindergarten. We made an executive decision to use seesaw, and yesterday? It made me smile all day long. Each morning I post new activities for my students. They can use their phones, tablets, computers and listen to stories, complete a math problem and draw a picture on the screen, build words with letter tiles, write stories, take videos of themselves, and record their voices explaining what they did. Then I can respond by typing a message or record my voice praising their work and giving them extensions or teach a quick lesson based on what I see them doing. This way if there isn’t a parent at home who is literate, the child still understands what I want them to do and get to hear my voice. I also added my teaching assistant, ELL teacher and librarian so they can add comments as well.
I’m still learning how to use it, and am taking three more classes on it, but more kids are signing on each day, and I feel like there is a glimmer of normalcy in their day by them hearing the voices of their teachers.
I also heard from three members of my team. Madame swoosh emailed me and will not be coming this spring. She will be back in the fall. I love her, and her daughter, and look forward to their energy work in the fall.
My herbalist called me to check on me. He is sending my new formula today and said to take his tea at least three times a day. He feels confident still we can get this under control.
I also got an email from Erin, Donnie’s assistant. I laughed because Donnie is happy i had such a serious side effect as it means it is working, and he is even hoping I get the rash as well. Erin said he agreed with my decision to not take steroids as a pre medication next time as it will lower the immune system and we are trying to raise it with the immunotherapy.
She also told me that the film they made about me has been nominated for an award in the New York Film Awards. I’m happy for the Mederi Center as well as for Jared, the filmaker. He was amazing to work with and I hope he wins.
I was looking through my phone for a picture and saw a tik tok video I did for my friend Sharon at my echocardiogram. It seems like it was longer than four days ago.

It’s challenging to keep the kids out of a depression at times. The girls still have a ton of work, and become anxious all day as assignments come at different times of the day. It’s like living in a constant fight or flight response checking emails. I’ve made a suggestion to have all assignments posted by a certain time and that’s it. I’m hopeful that clear communication can ease this challenging time.
The state needs to let these kids know about the regents. Working so incredibly hard and being worried about a state test is not good for their mental health.
I had my kids talk to my parents on the phone. They miss them so much. I took a picture of Quinn’s face as he talked to my mom. My nieces also face timed my kids. Connection is everything.

My wall is becoming more and more somber. Cancer patients having trials stop. Treatments postponed. Friends who have parents in ICU and on ventilators. Friends worried and having panic attacks of just going grocery shopping, something we didn’t even think to worry about a month ago. People missing human contact. I’ve shut off all the news during the day. It’s for my mental health. Hearing over and over about immune compromised people dying after seeing my white blood cell count number this week was scary.
Today is another work day. I’ve got assignments i just posted so they are ready for my students. I’ve got a zoom meeting to learn more about seesaw as well as another zoom meeting. I used to laugh whenever I used the work zoom in writing with my kinders. Now?
I can’t believe my work life revolves around zoom.
It’s Friday, and Disney plus is releasing the movie onward. I’m not sure a movie about kids trying to reconnect with their dead dad is best for a family with a mom who has terminal cancer during a pandemic… but we will try it.
It’s got to be better than Tiger King.
For all the frustrated parents out there, I get it. I see you. Do what you can to keep sane and keep your kids happy. Email your teachers because they are dealing with a lot and may not be aware of your struggles. Communication and working together as a team has never been so important. Don’t rely on rumor mill. Get direct answers.
For all the parents still having patience with the teachers, thank you. If you only knew what is going on behind the screen… I want to cry every time I get nice words from my families thanking me for what I’m doing. So go ahead and send a thank you if you feel like it. A little encouragement goes a long way.
Especially during a pandemic.
In Jesus’s name, amen.



One thought on “Keeping Normalcy and Positivity at the Center

  1. Hi Keri! Thank you and all teachers for your hard work and compassion. My daughter is a HS French teacher and works long hours ea day with her students. It’s a struggle to get teachers, administrators, students and parents on the same page, but like you said, it’s a matter of communication, understanding, patience and compassion. And a sense of humor! We will all get thru this together! God bless you and your family and the whole wide world! Xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

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