It’s May and we have been in quarantine, shelter in place, since mid March. Not much has changed, except, I have realized that I prefer teaching in person and not online. I miss my students, my colleagues, and my classroom. During this time I have noticed that I am experiencing this quarantine through stages. Now, this is just what I have noticed about myself and my boys. There is no science or testing behind these ideas.
Stage 1: Beginning of Shelter in Place
My mind, “it’s just for a week”. Keep your life normal and don’t worry.
I continued my normal daily routine of laundry and dinner, working out, but stayed home and kept to social distancing. In other words, I thought this will all be over with soon!
Stage 2: WAIT!!! WHAT????
Schools have announced that we plan to return May 4th.
Time to figure out how to contact 175 students online, create lessons, meet through Zoom with colleagues, and support my own children with their remote learning. Not going to lie, this was a tough adjustment. My boys are adjusting to remote learning and now I’m helping my 9 year old with MATH! Guess what? Somewhere, somehow, someone, changed math. The meme about “I can have a good day or I can help my children with their math assignments”, is true. Then I’m working with colleagues trying to create remote learning. I teach high school senior English. My students are scared and sad that their senior year of high school is ending like this. During this stage, I’m trying to keep up with multiple levels of school and stay positive for my boys and my students.
In the meantime, 3 boys are tired of being home and tired of the people in this house. Emotions are everywhere and game nights have become very competitive. The dog is tired of going on walks. Our internet can only take so much remote learning, and my rule of only playing videos games when it rains has been thrown out the window. I tried to be the Pinterest mom and I gave my boys journals to document their 2020 COVID 19 experience. I really tried to sell the idea and told them they are living history and one day someone might use your journal to understand what happened during this event. They liked the idea for a day and then they were over it and I’m exhausted.
Stage 3: Time to Clean and Organize
Guess what, cleaning is never ending!!
We have scrubbed and tossed and the house looked great. But then a day later we had to do over again. They floor constantly needs to be vacuumed, the sink is always full of dishes, and I don’t know why we have so much laundry. The laundry has doubled since this shelter in place started. After our 100th get this house cleaned and organized day, my older son said, no one is coming over to see it and we don’t leave, so its always going look like this. He’s right, we just keep making it messy. It’s a never ending cycle.
Stage 4: BAD News
We will not be returning to the school buildings for the rest of the school year.
This hit us hard. My oldest son got upset that he won’t go back to his middle school again. And then my youngest exclaimed, “I”m going to be with my brothers until 4th grade!”. Not sure if he was excited, confused, or upset.
This news brought on so many emotions for me. How are we not going back? I just couldn’t fathom the idea. I miss so much and feel that I have taken it for granted. This moment of quarantine gave me a lot of tears. I’ve had to really refocus and accept that this change is happening and it’s for the best. I know we will see many positive changes and we are doing the right thing, but it’s a big mountain to climb and we have a long way to go.
Stage 5: The Long Haul
I’ve accepted society has changed and as summer is approaching my boys and I will need at home entertainment. We have updated our outdoor living and we have found ways to enjoy life without traveling and going to movies. We are all much happier and realize that alone time is important. Taking a minimum of 30 minutes for yourself is needed. My boys made me realize it and they know when they need their break. We have worked on our communication of needs and we are respectful for each other’s wants.
We are all in this together. Stay strong, stay healthy, and find what makes you happy during this bizarre time.
Kellidawn is a true southern girl at heart. When she’s not wrangling her three boys, she can be found broadening the minds of high school seniors in her English class. This former college twirler is also an avid Star Wars fan and movie buff who loves spending time with family and friends.