Chocolate, coffee, and a Thank You
I can remember the email I received in March… March 13th, Friday the 13th to be exact. I tell my superstitious self that the timing of the email has absolutely nothing to do with the upcoming months of crazy I would experience. The email explained that classes are suspended until further notice, most likely until after Semana Santa, just about two weeks they said. At the time, I gave it little thought and tried to imagine what I would do with my new-found freedom. This so-called freedom lasted exactly two days until Spain declared a State of Alarm and the entire country went into extreme lockdown. I never anticipated living through the next few months, what I now think of as a really bad sci-fi movie that I never wanted to watch or actively partcipate in the making of so called movie.
In order to keep busy, I found an online teaching position. Every day was different and provided an unlimited amount of entertainment. Teaching can be exhausting….teaching can be difficult…teaching can be demanding…I quickly learned that online teaching was indeed all of this and also so very different. I needed to learn how to navigate this new world and learn quickly.
Some days looked like this –
Me – “Hi Daniel! Good morning!” Daniel – *Hands over his ears*, “I can’t hear you…” Me – I repeat, “Hi Daniel! Good morning!” Daniel – *Hands over his ears* again repeats, “I can’t hear you…” …this continues on for about 1-3 minutes, depending upon the day… Me – EVERY class I say, “Did you do your homework?” Daniel – EVERY day his response, “Nnnnnnooooopppppe!” Me – “Ok, will you do your homework today, please?” Daniel – “Nnnnnnooooopppppe!” …. oh well, moving on… Me – “Ok Daniel, we are going to begin with Math today.” Daniel – EVERYDAY says, “I don’t like Math!” Me – “I know, let’s work on Math first, then we can do Science.” Daniel – “Ooooooookkkkkkkk…” **usually when bored of my voice, face, and/or lesson** Daniel – “I need to peeeeeeeee!” Me – “Ok!” **30 minutes or so later** Daniel – “I need to peeeeeeee!” Me – “Ok!” ***90 minutes of class** Me – “That’s all for today. See you tomorrow…” Daniel – “Ooooooookkkkkkkkk…thank you Lisa! Byeeeeeeee…” **I need another cup of coffee**
Most days, I received love notes…making the days so worth it in the end.
Fast-forward seven months. Tomorrow is October 1. Tomorrow I return to a school building. Tomorrow I will start another year as a Cultural and Language Ambassador – really it’s just a fancy title for English Assistant. I am nervous, I am a bit anxious, and I am uncertain of what the futureschoolyear holds. It is not the teaching part that I find challenging, that I can manage. This year comes with maintaining social distance, wearing a mask, and being in crowds. I have lived a relatively solitary life the past seven months and tomorrow I must learn to be a human again.
So let me end with this…teaching is filled with so many amazing moments and I am lucky to do what I love. Also, teaching is difficult. Online teaching is even more difficult…in a world that is currently filled with uncertainty and daily challenges, your words and actions make a difference. If you can, find a teacher and say thank you. Better yet, send a coffee card or some chocolate. I am certain a thank you note, caffeine and a little bit of chocolate makes life just a little bit easier and we all need that right about now.