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We Made it a Year Teaching During a Pandemic... And You Should Be Damn Proud

It’s been a year.

A year since we have been teaching during a pandemic.

A year since we were in school teaching “normal.”

A year since we got to enter our classrooms mask free.

A year since COVID-19 changed everything we thought we knew about teaching.

And here we are, one year in. Still Standing. Teachers, I hate the corny shit-- but say it. "I survived teaching during a pandemic."

On March 13, me and my teacher bestie Julio danced at the spirit week dance (because if you ain’t dancing at an awkward high school dance are you even doing it right? Like you, we had no idea that COVID-19 would shut down our schools and impact us as a Nation the way it did. What we thought was an extra week tagged onto spring break turned into more than any of us had bargained for.

More than any of us could prepare for.

As we made our way through the year, I got the hang of it. It wasn’t easy, but I kept thinking of my students.

How were they doing? Is everything alright at home? Are they having to help their parents juggle siblings and elementary school zoom calls? Are they eating enough? Were their parents out of work? How were they coping being in their room alone all day? Or how were they on their phone all day when we know social media makes anxiety, depression, and suicide rates increase?

I missed them dearly, but there was nothing we could do to really know how they were doing from behind a screen.

Fast Forward to August of 2020, I was terrified that my school decided to move towards hybrid learning. I had three children of my own who would have to move to face-to-face learning so I could return to teaching. I was 5 months pregnant with Hero. Nobody knew shit about COVID in general, let alone the effects it had on pregnant women.

I do know, I was ready to be back in the classroom. Mask on face, disinfectant spray in hand (not really because Lysol was, like, impossible to find). But I did have hand sanitizer and some germ killing alcohol wipes the school provided.

Phrases like “we are all in this together” and “take care of yourself” were thrown around.

Many educators left the classroom this year because they could not handle the stressors of COVID.

So what about the kids?

How proud of them should we be for showing up?

Now that it seems the Nation is still split with schooling options, I see on TikTok and IG teachers sharing a combo of virtual, in-person, and hybrid learning to accommodate families. But still I ask you, what about the kids?

What was it like not as a teacher or a parent during the pandemic, but as a student?

This COVID-19 Year 1 Reflection is an interactive activity to facilitate that conversation. Students will use a mixture of video, gifs, images, emojis, and text to allow them to look at the pandemic through one of a teenager, rather than just answering the same ‘ol question, “How are you?”

There are 10 slides, each with a different COVID-19 related activity that gages their opinions and feelings towards the pandemic. These include:

  • 1 Title Slide

  • YouTube Year Reflection of COVID-19 Video

  • Brain Dump

  • Describe COVID-19 in 1 word

  • Describing the pandemic in the beginning, middle, and present time using Emojis for description

  • Describing COVID-19 in gifs

  • Most Important thing I learned during COVD signs

  • If COVID were a [blank] it would be (Fill in the blank for celebrities, cartoon character, food/snack and more)

  • What I Learned About COVID using gifs and images

  • Find Somebody Who… (Get kids talking by finding a classmate with a common answer to the prompt)

  • 1 Note of encouragement to a teacher/friend/family member

Talk to your students about how they are feeling. If things have been rough for you, we must imagine not everything has been peachy for them.

We must listen earnestly and share honestly to create empathetic humans.

Take the time, teacher friends.

But the content. But the standards. But the test.

Hell with it, build relationships and talk to those kids this week.

They need it.

You need it.



Ty Tiger | Kinda Sorta Teacher



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