Last night I went to bed, feeling anxious. I knew I should have been setting my alarm for school in the morning. The festivities of the St. Patrick's break are over, and my body clock was telling me that it was time to return to normal. I woke up this morning before the sun, earlier than usual and that feeling of anxiety had turned to upset. The reality had finally arrived and was parked firmly on my thoughts...
We may not see our children for many months to come.
More than anything I want to go to school this morning, I wish normality to return, and I want to see the children I teach. But instead, the reality is that I won't see the children and I'm not even sure I will be able to connect with them, especially the children who need me the most, the ones who escape into the security of our classroom. I feel worried that we may not get to finish what we started, we worked so hard this year and post Christmas you get to see all these efforts fall into place as we begin to reap the rewards of our hard work.
Now I'm worried that the children will soon start to feel this sense of change in their every day, maybe they'll start to miss our little classroom family, our silly jokes and structure routines that they moan about (but secretly love!). Our hands-on exploration of the unknown, our play and our connection. Never again will I breathe a sign of irritation if a child interrupts my teaching with a story about their pet sock at home. I'll miss the morning greetings, the idle chat and the regular taletelling. Now we don't have our little friends to tell tales on!
I know we are meant to keep positive, but it's important to share our anxieties so that they don't begin to fester and consume us. It will be hard for us Infant teachers because we work with the most vulnerable of our society. Teaching infants is so much more than just giving direction. It requires touch, emotion and a great sense of presence, more than any other class level.
This morning I woke up feeling upset, but this emotion gives me more drive than ever to be innovative in finding a way to connect with each of the children in my class! Children are resilient, and they bounce back, it's going to be ok. This will be but a small moment in their whole lifetime, many may not even remember in years to come. No loss of tuition over the coming months is going to change their longterm education achievement. We are just on pause, a moment in time we might be able to erase. We will pick up where we left off. We will ease into this new normal, taking it hour by hour, day by day.
We will be ok.
“I say to you all, once again -- in the light of Lord Voldemort's return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort's gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”
Stay safe, stay sane and hang onto every moment of happiness that comes your way my friends!