One of the best feelings is looking out into your classroom and all of those little eyes are on you as you are delivering your perfectly planned mini-lesson. With a sigh, you go to close your lesson with a quick exit slip only to realize those little eyes didn’t comprehend your teaching point.
So many things we have learned in this pandemic transition to teaching online. I remember how unequipped I felt being forced into this world of technology.
Teacher burnout is at an all-time high. Teacher turnover rates—in Indiana and nationwide—are increasing and are becoming increasingly expensive for districts. Educators and school districts nationwide are struggling.
In the challenging and unexpected transition to digital learning environments in 2020, some of the most common questions my students asked are “Where do I start?” and “What do I need to do today?”
If we’ve learned nothing else this year, it’s that the word “just” is a four-letter word. “JUST click that and it will…” Or “You JUST need to open it so that you can…” How about “If you JUST scroll over there…”
Everything was going great. My high school basketball team had just won our second consecutive Sectional Championship and the excitement of the team going into the Regional was electric. That week of practice was so intense and competitive since we knew we had a tough challenge ahead in the Lawrence North Wildcats. By Thursday, we had our game plan set in place and were fine-tuning our skills in preparation for Saturday.
March 12 was just like any other day. It was a Thursday, and my staff was doing a Theme Thursday dress-up day. “Wear your favorite basketball team gear” seemed appropriate since it was time for March Madness. I dressed in our high school team colors and wore a button with my son, Dawson Eastes, on it.
When you walk into a teacher’s physical classroom, it’s brimming with personality. From posters of a favorite college or sports team to colorful displays of student work, you can tell a lot about the teacher just by walking into the room.
If I rewind back just four short weeks and one blink-of-an-eye day ago to March 12, I can remember that school day vividly. I was scheduled to host a community shadow from our Corporation Vision 2020. This is a program that has been in place for many years, where community members are invited to come into our schools and witness first-hand what is happening inside our walls.
You are probably sad and frustrated today, and I am grieving with you. A retired air traffic controller I knew who tutored high school math students lost his fight against COVID-19 three weeks ago. Doug was tough and selfless with kids, and he changed their lives. I think of his wonderful spirit, and I mourn with dedicated educators across this state who now face daily battles against this horrific pandemic.