Lee Ann Spillane
Anticipating the 28th First Day
The teaching dreams started a few weeks ago. Seating charts, face masks, social distancing. The dreams took a turn during the summer when pool noodles and community building converged. One night in my school dream, we were all wearing our favorite pool floats. Mine? A glorious unicorn decked out with rainbow wings and glitter stars, much like the one I hugged in our team photo last year, but winged and more colorful.
Can you imagine if we all donned pool floats to help us monitor distance? I'm sensing a spirit week or a house challenge idea. While we do not want to make light of keeping one another safe, we do want to help learners of all ages engage productively and positively in a school environment that will be quite different from any they have experienced before.
As educators, we want to maintain and protect the health and safety of members of our community. We also want to maintain our own wellness. I know that is top of mind for many of us. Still, I want to hang on to what makes us human too. And in my family, our humanity is often expressed in how we joke and laugh. Laughter gets us through even the hardest times. I sure hope we can maintain a sense of humor as we safely welcome learners back to school too.
While won't be wearing pool floats or carrying pool noodles to measure out safe distances as school gets underway this way year, we will be doing specific things to keep everyone safe.
We will ...
submit our temperatures morning and afternoon.
check into and out of spaces using our Eagle Tracks form.
wear masks and face shields.
wash our hands often
sanitize our hands them as we enter and exit rooms.
wipe down desks as we enter and exit rooms.
wipe down equipment or tools we've shared in small groups in our classes.
walk in single file lines in hallways.
bring our lunches and snacks and eat in classrooms in small groups.
stay in assigned spots and spaces throughout the day.
I find myself dreaming and imagining how these new procedures will look in the halls, in the classrooms, at arrival and dismissal. Visualizing helps me practice. Practice decreases my anxiety. When I imagine it, I "see" things I hadn't thought about. Questions surface and I get curious. Learners start school tomorrow! I'm ready.
Excited and prepared, we'll welcome learners back with an eye on our safety checklists the the leadership team has shared and we'll tune in daily to our page of updates. After all, we are Eagles, in this together!