**Inspired by the brilliant women of my “book club”
Denial: Waking up to the sound of rain, I wonder if the dog can wait just a bit longer. Giving in to the inevitable, I make my way into the day, recalculating my plans given the extra hour I slept. Dog outside, coffee brewing, youngest accommodated, I find my space on the couch and begin my “work” for the day. Posting plans, answering emails, responding to student comments…I think I can figure out how to make this work for the next few weeks! I schedule my zoom meetings, rework our family calendar to make space for all the zooming, and reach out to a few colleagues who have been heavy on my mind. I head for another cup of coffee and to help wake the rest of the house so that we can all venture forth.
Anger: I start to read some of the responses and feelings of frustration begin to build. I am misunderstood. I am not communicating well. Messages are received, but ideas are lost. What will happen if we don’t go back? How will I do this for another month? Two? Why can’t anyone give a straight answer? One leader (and I use that term loosely) gives one version and another tells a different tale. Fake news is a thing of the past; now we just have uncertainty and projections and apexes (is that the correct plural?) that roll and move. How can no one know what is going on? I am seething and there is no escape because I am locked inside and it is pouring rain.
Bargaining: Heading to the basement to my faithful treadmill, I promise my kids time and attention. Later. I promise my husband time and attention. Later. Right now, I have to take care of myself. If I take care of myself, I will be able to do this. Whatever this is, I will be able to do it…if I take care of myself. I know I’m not really trying to cut a deal with the universe, just with myself. I walk and run and debate the many ways I can spend my time productively, the many silver linings that I can find in this whole catastrophe.
Depression: I can’t. I just can’t today. The plans from early this morning make no sense. Will the kids even see any of it? And what about the kids we don’t reach…are they okay? I have names running through my head, students that I would, on a normal day, make sure I got my eyes on at some point, to make sure they knew I was seeking them out. But they don’t know. And I don’t know. It’s all a big unknown. And, because I am going down this road, does any of it even matter?
Acceptance: I finish up yet another zoom meeting and then, almost immediately, call my co-teacher (who is also one of my closest friends). Plans are becoming clearer and I think I can see the progression. I think we can actually do it…we can develop something that meets the criteria set forth by my district and aligns with my education philosophy. I see the scope and sequence and I think I can figure out the details. It may even transfer to this new alternate reality. I close my computer, silence my phone and open my door. I prioritize time with my family over another zoom meeting, recognizing that tomorrow is, indeed, another day.