Back to normal teaching: When sneezing causes a class to riot
Since the end of the summer holidays I have been teaching all the children together again. In the building we all have to wear a mask, but not in the classroom. There is always a window open. When all the children sat together in class for the first time, my heart was pounding. From May until the summer holidays I taught a maximum of 10 children a day. Despite half the class it felt like double responsibility even then. This feeling has increased even more since all the children are sitting together in the classroom again. Thoughts go through my head, like:
- Did all children wash their hands before eating?
- Should I rather send child x home because it looks sick? Children also like to interfere here and want a certain child to get a single place or go home.
- How do I make good, exciting lessons without the children meeting too much or exchanging materials? Because for me, this exchange actually means good lessons and that the children learn through play.
To have the Corona-Hygiene rules in mind and to orientate my teaching according to them is connected with more tension and also more frustration for me. Frustration to teach about the limited possibilities. The children also feel this. At the same time I am glad that all the children are sitting in front of me in good health. Real and in colour. And that I don't only meet them behind the screen.
Colleagues who are missing, start a carousel of thoughts
So many people gather at the school: Children and adults. We keep touching the same objects all the time. Even when we use the shared computer in the teachers' room. Colleagues who are missing for several days were hardly noticed before the pandemic. Today I find myself wondering, "Are they in bed with a cough and shortness of breath?"
Teaching during Corona means having to make lightning-fast and prudent decisions
A few days ago, a kid came up and tried to say something in my ear. These are always the moments when I get into an inner conflict. I want to be a confidant for the children, to give them a safe framework so that they can discover the world. But I also don't want them to get too close to me and possibly infect me.
I sometimes feel quite "defenceless" behind the teacher's desk. These are decisions I have to make in a matter of seconds. In this case, I gave the boy my ear. And then he whispered to me that he just threw up in the toilet. I sent the child home immediately. In the end, it was a stomach virus.
I also get a sneeze from time to time or put away a dirty handkerchief at the end of the day.
Conclusion: To be the rock in the surf, even if I myself do not know whether we will spend this school year together in the classroom until the end, is the biggest challenge I am facing at the moment. I want to rest in myself and give the children a feeling of confidence, but at the same time not glorify anything.
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