Normal

I haven’t written for a long time. Working as a first grade teacher keeps me busy. Normally.

Like all of you, my normal world changed.

Initially, we heard hints of it. “We” thought it was about “them” or “way over there.” It was sad and horrible but far away and we kept going as normal.

We watched the news and the conflicting information.

Pretty soon, it was closer. It hit home. I had less students coming to class in “an abundance of caution.”

The last day of school, which I didn’t know was going to be the last day, half of my class was home. Thankfully, they were healthy, just practicing the social distancing recommendations.

My normal morning meeting was reduced by quarter and then…by half.

I saw those who remained starting to count their classmates that remained. They looked at me with curiosity. I smiled and tried to act normal.

Pretty soon, a sneeze or a cough was scary. Even the young learners that I normally spend my days with were talking about IT. I tried to distract them with stories and lessons.

On March 12th, we said goodbye and honestly, we didn’t know for how long. We still don’t.

We have plans to provide emergency learning resources for families to do if they can. I imagine it’s supposed to provide a feeling of normal, especially for those who crave predictability. I miss my daily schedule and erasing those lessons that are completed.

For the first time in a long time, I didn’t receive any emails about report card grades that were posted for trimester 2.

I guess it just doesn’t seem important now.

There are lots of things that I could be doing. Things that normally I couldn’t get to. Cleaning out that closet, pulling weeds from between the pavers, reading that book that has gathered dust.

Maybe, I will get to those things but they don’t seem important either.

There are some good things about these “New Normal” days. Less need for makeup and work clothes. Deodorant seems optional and home clothes are now worn 7 days a week instead of weekends.

There are important things, must do things, like call your mother to make sure she follows the six feet rule. Contact a friend that lives alone and watches too much news. Remind that millennial that he is not invincible.

Take the car out around the neighborhood so the battery doesn’t die.

Normally, I know what day of the week it is without looking at my phone. I’m normally looking forward to Spring Break. That week away from school.

I look forward to the days of normal.

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