Teaching During a Pandemic
Let's face it, teaching in 2020 is HARD.
How difficult? Here's a great metaphor found circulating on Facebook recently that helps explain:
Imagine hosting two dinner parties at once: a BBQ in the backyard with an open fire-pit, and then the roast in the oven to be served on fine china to guests in your dining room. Now, also imagine finding time to make doggie bags for those who didn’t show up.
Imagine, as well, your electric company cutting power at times briefly, where lights go off and on, and the in-house guests have to make their way back from any confusion or missed courses of the meal. Some of them joke about it. You settle them down.
Some of the dinner guests don’t know how to use utensils, or clean up after themselves, are still hungry but are afraid to ask, or refuse to eat. Some complain about the food. Or claim they ate it last year. Or claim they never saw other parts of the meal before.
Some in the dining room have requested to be outside at the BBQ. Some at the BBQ now want to be in the dining room. You have to keep track. Sometimes new guests arrive!
The appliances sometimes change. The utensils and plates seem to be moved to different cabinets on occasion. Then you find out that your space for serving others has to be shared with neighbors who are also hosting dinner parties. Too many guests elsewhere! Clean up fast enough between meals!
The fire department might also, at any point, ask everyone to evacuate from a threat — either real or imagined. The police also expect us to huddle guests into the windowless garage, in a corner, six feet apart, in the event of an intruder — either real or imagined.
Your entire dinner party could be told at any moment to go home, and you need to quickly wrap up everyone's' meals.
You do all this, while wearing a mask. While remembering to wash or sanitize hands several dozen times throughout the day. While hoping and trusting that the guests come in without any unseen illnesses brewing.
You also have to answer the phone and emails while all this is going on. You must keep detailed records of your guests and what they ate.
The guests leave. You catch your breath. You think about tomorrow’s menu...which has to be totally different than today’s. While you catch your breath and anxiously take inventory of ingredients for tomorrow, you know in your heart why you chose to cook for others.
There are plenty of good teachers out there, so during this season of thanks be sure to tell one (past or present) that you're thankful for them and all they've done!
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