Today’s Been Tough…

Today’s been especially tough.

Even as I write this, the screen is blurry, as my eyes brim with tears. Maybe it’s the isolation. Maybe it’s the extremely long hours. Maybe it’s the feeling that no matter how hard I work, I can’t seem to feel like it’s enough. Maybe it’s because I feel like I’m constantly letting my students and staff down when I can’t get back to them quickly enough. Maybe it’s because this virus thing is really real to me now. Maybe it’s because I’m sleep deprived. Whatever the reason is, I’ve come to a breaking point.

Last night I worked until past 11:00pm (again), and when my alarm went off this morning, I dragged myself out of bed, knowing that I had people depending on me to release today’s lesson information and videos. After way too many cups of English breakfast tea, I started to get into a groove, but sadly, that was short-lived.

Mid-morning I had a meeting with two other members of the leadership team about how we can better support our struggling students, and for some reason during that meeting, I started panicking about the PYP Exhibition. The high standards I put onto myself, coupled with the (perceived?) expectations of the community, had me worried. How will my students complete their work in time? What about the ones who need more support who are at home fending for themselves? What about the ones with no Internet access? How in the heck will we collaborate on a shared presentation piece as a class when we are all in isolation and learning online? Voicing my fears helped actually, and I was able to move forward with the day, supporting my students through meetings and text conversations.

But this afternoon, while I was on a video conference with a student, one of my teachers called me. I answered, worried that something had happened. He asked what today’s staff briefing would be about. I assured him it would be mostly routine things, but he hesitated, mumbling something about some news his wife mentioned, but he didn’t say much else. I told him I was busy with a student but that I’d get back to him as soon as I could.

I finished the call with the student and clicked on a few chat notifications to catch up on what I’d missed. In our leadership team chat, someone had posted a link to an article with the announcement that Indonesia had had its first Coronavirus-related death today. As I read the announcement, my heart stopped. The gender and age were the same as our teacher who tested positive for the virus a couple of days ago and who is in hospital in isolation. That, along with the fact that the article stated it was a foreign-national, made me fear the worst. With my heart in my stomach, my hands shaking uncontrollably, I typed, “Please tell me this isn’t our teacher!”

With bated breath, I waited for the reply. A simple “no” came back with no explanation. Shortly after that, we received confirmation that someone had spoken with them on the phone. Relieved that they were still alive and doing okay, I still couldn’t shake the fear that gripped me. What if it had been them? What would I/we do? What does this mean for our community and the wider community? I don’t have answers, but I will say that while I wasn’t afraid before, I am today.

Today’s been especially tough.

26 thoughts on “Today’s Been Tough…

  1. jodimahoney

    I’ve been reading your blog with interest about the remote teaching as we are all on the brink of this ourselves. Would it be okay with you if I shared your blog link with my teachers?

    Reply
    1. aggiekesler Post author

      Thanks for visiting and thanks for asking. Yes, feel free to share. Hopefully it will give a window to what it’s like. I’m sure I’ll write more about the experience as time goes on.

      Reply
  2. anita ferreri

    Like you, I’m feeling and living with the impact of this virus. I am really concerned with the impact on our struggling students – the ones with attention, focus, and learning differences. I will keep you and your school in my thoughts and prayers. Hopefully, this will have an ending in the not too distant future.

    Reply
    1. aggiekesler Post author

      Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. I hope that your situation improves, too. I worry about the kids so much. It’s definitely hardest on them! I so hope it ends very soon. Sending you positive vibes, prayers, and love!

      Reply
  3. livinglife816287820

    It sounds very stressful and nerve wracking. I hope you can get back to a normal school routine soon. As you say it must be especially hard on students who rely on interaction and teacher support. It’s such an unnatural situation for children to experience.

    Reply
  4. edifiedlistener

    I cannon say thank you enough for continuing to keep it real as the effects of the virus on multiple levels unfolds. I am thinking of you and your students and colleagues and hope that you can adjust your expectations to account for the extending circumstances. Be well and rest up.

    Reply
    1. aggiekesler Post author

      Thank you so much! Every day I think I should write an uplifting slice…I mean who wants to read another sad post, but sometimes all that comes out is sadness.

      Reply
  5. Sara T.

    I am reading your blog posts and they are helping me anticipate what it might be like for us in the immediate future. I feel for you because the pressure seems so heavy. I was right there with you as the news unfolded on whether your staff member was the one who died. I’m so glad it wasn’t him/her, but I’m sad for the person that did pass away. If you don’t mind me asking, do you know how your staff member contracted it?

    Reply
    1. aggiekesler Post author

      Thanks for reading Sara. I really hope you don’t have to deal with this and that it spares your community. Our staff member contracted it from contact with Case 1 in Indonesia. They knew each other and socialized at a party together.

      Reply
  6. Kristy L

    I am SO sorry! The beginning of your piece is so relatable (Well a lot of it is, but the first paragraph could be anyone anywhere). This line really stuck out: “Maybe it’s the extremely long hours. Maybe it’s the feeling that no matter how hard I work, I can’t seem to feel like it’s enough.” I feel this way ALL THE TIME and it’s so overwhelming. I can’t imagine what you’re dealing with in this situation. I hope that by writing each day, you feel like you at least have a bit of an outlet. Definitely thinking of you, your colleagues and your students!

    Reply
    1. aggiekesler Post author

      Thanks Kristy. I know we all feel like that…it’s the curse of a teacher. Writing is definitely helping, as is the support from the SOL community. Thanks for thinking of us! ❤

      Reply
  7. Amy Ellerman

    It says so much that on a day like this one, you’re writing. I hope it helps you to feel connected with the slicing community! Thank you for sharing your stories. ❤️

    Reply
  8. Darin Johnston

    I hope these slices, the SOL community is able to lift you up a little bit. While painful, your words give us sense of routine that I hope is helpful for you. I know it’s not much, but positive vibes are being sent from the middle of nowhere Iowa! 🙂

    Stay strong and keep writing. We want to know.

    Reply
  9. Amanda Regan

    Thank you for sharing your story and experiences here. It brings to life the reality of this pandemic that many of us have yet to experience. I have tears in my eyes thinking about what you’re going through. Stay strong and keep sharing your stories. And let’s hope and pray there’s an end to this pandemic soon.

    Reply
    1. aggiekesler Post author

      Thanks for reading Amanda. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions the past 2 weeks, as I’m sure it’s been for everyone around the world. I hope and pray it ends swiftly. We can’t take much more!

      Reply
  10. Pingback: Currently… | my heart is happiest when i travel. read. write. connect.

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