Everyone would assume that it is business as usual in schools now that we are back to “normal.”
After all, masks have come off, and we are fortunate to have our students participating in standardized tests again. (Go back and reread the second part of that sentence with your best sarcastic tone.)
Just in case you are thinking that everything is “normal,” let me set you straight.
As I arrived in the office on Monday morning, I already knew it was going to be a rough day due to our substitute situation.
By 8:15am, we had nine staff members out. (We average just over 30 staff members on a regular day, so nearly one third of the staff was out.)
One classroom had eight students out sick.
There was no nurse, no secretary, and no one to cover the first lunch.
Oh, and no one to cover at least three classrooms full of students.
Our remaining secretary was talking to a parent about a student who tested positive for COVID, and quickly checked lists to see if we needed to quarantine any additional students.
By 8:40, I was scrambling to figure out how to provide coverage for all of our students, and running outside to direct traffic for morning arrival.
By 9:00, we had two additional students in the office, waiting to be picked up because they had gotten sick immediately upon entering the classroom. (The substitute custodian was called to clean up the classrooms.)
By 9:15, I was supposed to be upstairs to begin Day 10 of standardized testing for students, because it’s important that our students participate in so many days of state testing instead of doing something more meaningful. (Go back and reread the second part of that sentence with your best sarcastic tone.)
Going downstairs briefly at 9:21, I updated several staff members on which jobs they would be doing today that they don’t normally do. I also put a bandaid on a student’s elbow.
At 9:30, when everyone had finally logged into their test, I took a moment to think and breathe, and felt like my head would explode.
Most of my day is spent simply managing, figuring out logistics, and trying to band aid everything (BOTH literally and figuratively), and barely hanging on.
For all of these reasons, I’m so thankful that we are back to “normal.” (Go back and reread that sentence with your best sarcastic tone.)