I love Back to School time! I love buying new lesson plan books and hanging new bulletin boards. I love setting up my desk with the pics of my kids and my pencil holder.
But this year is different.
My school is currently expected to start with a hybrid September – some students in person and some working synchronously from home with another cohort (as yet unrevealed percentage of students) who are completely remote. I still can’t get my head around how to plan for this and my 32nd year in the classroom is just as wrought with anxiety, even more so, than my first year.
The whole process of planning, creating, and hanging a new bulletin board is normally something I love doing. I love choosing a new theme every year, saving ideas from Pinterest, and WOWing myself and my students with some dramatic bulletin board. Last year’s theme was a tropical rainforest. The year before was superheroes. The year before that was underwater. This year, I was thinking aliens.
As I watch the news about schools opening around the country and then quarantining the next day due to kids or staff testing positive doesn’t make me feel optimistic about remaining in my classroom for a long time. Who’s going to spend 10+ hours creating a spectacular bulletin board that students may never see? How much time and money am I willing to invest knowing that schools are shutting down as quickly as they’re opening up? Not to mention the fact that a large part of my classroom has been turned in to social distancing barriers, sanitizer stations, and plexiglass dividers.
Maybe this is the year I don’t bother with the Pinterest classroom. And maybe, it will be just fine.