At the end of every school day I change the date on my whiteboard to the next day we will be in school. Today was no different. Today I wrote Monday, March 15, 2021 on the board. Today was the last day of school before our shortened spring break. A break that was shortened to prevent everyone from traveling.
As soon as I wrote the date, it struck me, the last day before spring break. The feeling came rushing back and almost took my breath away. The last time I wrote the date on the board on the last day before spring break we never returned to our classroom. Monday, March 16, 2020 remained on my whiteboard until June when I returned to my classroom to pack it up for the summer.
The memories of this time last year have been coming back this week in different ways. Over the weekend I realized I should have been waking up in a sunny and warm location as we usually try to escape the cold during spring break. While planning for the next few weeks on Saturday, I realized my 2019-2020 planbook was no longer going to be helpful as it’s blank. I came across unfinished work from last year while planning this week which brought back the sadness of not finishing the year with a wonderful group of second graders. Then, writing the date on the whiteboard this afternoon actually sparked fear. The reminder of the start of this pandemic life we’re living right now hit me harder than I expected.
Despite the memories that are returning, there is hope. Our state is finally working on a vaccination program for teachers which should get started later this week. Several family members and friends are in the process of getting vaccinated and locally, our numbers are going down. These are all good things. The memories will continue to come over the next several weeks but I’m hopeful that we will also start to see a return to normal over the next several weeks and months and maybe, just maybe, school will be back to normal next year.