More and more teachers are going back to their school buildings. I feel their anxiety. And know this new reality is on my horizon.
Saturday I walked into my classroom that this year’s group of students have yet to fill. The desks face forward. All carpets, rugs. pillows, and other items that made the space a home, have been removed. It is a shell.
One year ago the classroom was childless, but their presence could be felt. Posters on the wall, books on the shelves. Pencil cases and other personal belongings in the desks. Walking in to that empty classroom was an entirely different feeling. The stories we told, the problems we solved, the mess we made was there. The history of those kiddos filled the room.
Now I wonder how to bring this skeleton of a room to life. How can students be comfortable and safe. Can they those ideas co exist? Can we incorporate some of the good of how it used to be with some of the good from our year at home?
We’ve gone through a year of figuring things out. On line.
We knew how computers worked.
We’d used google classroom.
Transferring that knowledge to home was bumpy.
But now, students can smoothly navigate though platforms and troubleshoot problems.
Coming back to a desk in a classroom, not on your bed next to you fish;
getting up to catch a school bus, not in time push the zoom link will be a change.
For some it will be difficult not to have the comforts of home.
For others it may be a welcome break. Allowing them a separate space.
All will have to adjust to restrictions and protocols.
It will be bumpy.
But, we will learn to navigate again.
We will fill the shell with stories.
We will solve problems.
We will learn how to interact safely.
We will make a new history.
We will imagine how to learn better next school year.