Friday, February 5, 2021

Linking up today with Andrea, etc. right here!

Here are just some bits of happy from the week! I hope you, too, can look at your camera roll and find things to smile about from this week!

I am not even an Oreo person, but I happened to see these on a quick Kroger run (forgot a couple of things when I did my online order), so I grabbed them! They are vanilla/golden flavored but the colors are fun. We all tried one and then I sent them to college with one son. Where are my Girl Scout cookies? That’s the real question!

We got another pretty snow on Monday, but I could not enjoy it because I had to virtual teach, teach, teach. I want snow on the weekend while I look out the window and sip hot chocolate, o.k.? Just kidding, I think I have had my fill for this year. We may get some more this weekend, though.

Last year I made an impulse purchase at Target and got some Valentine socks. It was fun to pull these out and put them on – “Aloe you vera much”.

You know how I am constantly finding pennies and I think they are messages from my Dad, right? I got a text with this photo from Mason – he found one. It made me happy that he remembered/believes this, too.

I had an indoor (gasp) drink with a friend one day after school. We spread out and there was not another soul in the place. We both got a bourbon cocktail and…

split these potato skins. It felt weird to ease up a bit and go inside. Both of us have been super careful and it was really cold out. But, still, you would feel horrible!

I picked up this buffalo chicken dip at TJs and It is good. This has been part of my lunch this week. It isn’t very spicy and you can add some hot sauce if you like it with more heat. I may never make this dip from scratch again!

After meeting my friend for happy hour I was so happy to realize how much lighter it is staying these days. Have you noticed this, too? It gives me hope that spring isn’t too far away… maybe??? The groundhog did see his shadow, but are we really going to trust a rodent?

I finally learned that I can refrigerate my avocados. I let it ripen almost and then put it in the fridge. I take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before I want to use it. This gives their lifespan up to a week more! Such high maintenance little buggers but they sure are good. This really made me laugh:

Wednesday was my school’s day to get vaccinated. Teachers are in Group 1B in my state. It was a crazy operation but it was pretty efficient! We have to go to the state fairgrounds and it took two hours!

I rode with Elizabeth, my French teacher friend and we wore masks. I’m so glad I had someone to talk to.

You actually drove into at stadium.

So, we got there at 11:40 and finally sat down for lunch afterwards at 2:00. And, we were inside with only two other people behind us. Who am I going inside? It felt weird but really nice.

We shared friend pickles and then eat got a sandwich and I was too hungry to remember a picture.

Now that teachers are getting vaccinated, there is lots of talk about returning to in person instruction. I saw a meme that said “let’s open schools!” and the response was schools have been open since August but in a virtual form. I think we only hear the negative but there has been lots of positive, as well. The teens are learning to communicate with their teachers via email. They are learning some self-discipline and organization skills, their schedule is very much like a college schedule right now. Some of our teens with social anxiety are finding this platform to be more comfortable. Some of the kids I had last year that missed school often have perfect virtual attendance. Of course, the flip side is all that we are missing from “normal” school. I really do miss the physical classroom and I know without a shadow of a doubt that it is much more effective. I am seeing deficiencies that I can easily correct when I can walk up to a kid at their desk and simply point something out.

This is not an easy decision and it’s not that teachers don’t want to be open. There are many factors/issues a high school of 2000 students has to deal with. It is a whole different ball of wax than an elementary that can be rather contained with a smaller group in a classroom, in my opinion. But, I am not going to pretend to know what it takes to open an elementary school.

-First we have to poll our parents to see how many kids will come back in person and how many will remain in our “virtual academy”. Right now we think we have about 1400 that wish to come in person. The students will not have been vaccinated and I am worried about the new strain that is even more contagious. Also, we have to create the virtual academy!

-We will have to change the Master schedule to reflect who is in and who is out. A high school Master schedule is a beast.

-We also have to match that up with what teachers have been approved to remain virtual. If a student is in a class of a teacher who is virtual but the student is in person, that student will have to have a space to go to in the school building to do that class.

-Arrival to school – we obviously cannot have 1400 kids arrive at the same time and come in the same door. Same thing for dismissal.

-We have to make stairwells one way and teach the kids the routes to their 7 classes.

-We have many interior rooms with no windows. Our building was built in 1960 and the ventilation and air systems are not that great. We will try to move as many classes to exterior rooms as we can.

-How will we do lunch? Seating charts will be needed for contact tracing. Can we move some tables outside? Our weather is fickle in March, April and May.

-How will we conduct some classes outside? Is this an option? Will we move furniture outside? Does our school wifi reach all of our outside areas. Chargers, outlets, etc. will be needed.

-How will we temperature scan 1400 kids?

-What will we do for mask wearing infractions?

-If I have a class of 30 and only 5 want to remain virtual and my classroom is not big enough for proper spacing, where do the “extra” kids go when I am the only teacher that teaches that course? Do I kick out the lowest grades? Where do they go?

-We are trying to continue using the computer for most things, we will still have to mask and be 6 feet away. Do we have extra computers for the ones that break or the kids that forgot them?

I am barely scratching the surface here, but you get the idea.

And the big question, is all of this worth it for about a 6-8 week span of time to finish out the school year? I really don’t know.

Wow – my Friday Favorites really took a turn, but I am going to go with it and say that a favorite is that I am not the one making the big decisions.

What is something that made you happy this week? Any favorites?

Thanks for visiting me,

Amy

29 thoughts on “Friday Favorites

  1. So interesting with your thoughts opening schools again! And since I’ve been teaching IRL all this time I know how much effort that is required to keep the students apart… The way we’re teaching right now with half classes is superb! Most students really rise up to the challenge, I think it’s fantastic with 13 year old kids that plan their own school days at home and get all things done! But… the weaker students are the victims… Some kids really need adult supervision to be able to work.
    A favorite this week is my new beige knitted oversized vest – I wear it with everything! And the light returning of course – I love it! And working from home today – so nice, I’m actually still in my pyjamas (no online teaching…).
    Enjoy your day!

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    1. Thank you! How are vaccinations going in Sweden? Guess what? I got my red Swedish clogs yesterday! I want to go back with half classes but our admin does not like it for some reason? It seems to be the best solution!
      Very true – but the parent should have always been more involved. So, for that reason, I like that some parents understand school more now.
      Ooh – that sounds like my Teddy Bear vest! Have a great day at home. That is so needed to get caught up!

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      1. Vaccines are slow… Less than 1 % has gotten the two shots, and about 3,5 % the first one… MIL (78 years old) have not received any information… They prioritize health personnel and elderly in homes. No teachers are on any lists! Our union tried to get some attention, but… I don’t think I will get the vaccine. I’m absolutely not against it, but it can’t be too complicated! I got the H1N1 vaccine from the school nurse, that was neat!
        Yes on parents getting an insight in school work!

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      2. Sounds like they are moving faster here? I never got the H1N1 nor did anyone I know. I was so scared of my boys getting it. I made them strip down at the back door and wash their hands and then put on their home clothes. They wore uniforms. then!

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    1. I felt a bit guilty! Virtual can work for some kids! It’s not that bad! Thinking of you this weekend. We miss our Dads. I had a couple of moments this week where I would’ve given anything to be able to call him.

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  2. Hadley was telling me about the Gaga Oreos. She loves Oreos and will try all kinds! I love that Buffalo dip and have bought it for a couple years…last time I was at Tj, the lady who ran up my food, asked if I’d ever warmed it up…I never had tried that and my mind was blown (I used to make a dip like this)…never again after microwaving it 😂 Mason’s text is so sweet! I’ve seen the video footage of cars driving in the fairgrounds to get their vaccines. Obviously Lexington is smaller compared to Louisville—but it took me less than 40 minutes from leaving my house to getting back home. I was amazed. I’m supposed to get the second one after 2/10, but haven’t received an email yet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She would love the colors of the Gaga ones! I thought you had to heat it up! I scoop a bit out and put in a glass Pyrex bowl.
      It is rare to get a photo from my kids! Actually I rarely get a text initiated from them! It was ok that it took that long. I really had fun with my friend and we caught up. She is 28 and single and we worked on her dating app. She had 10 guys that wanted to message her and I helped her weed out the bad ones!

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      1. Omg you made me laugh…she’s lucky to have your help! I typically eat the dip cold with mini peppers or their corn scoops (Fritos) but now I will sometimes warm it up and have it with the corn chips or crackers

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It was fun! She thinks I should be a life coach. I told her she needs to date guys over 30. Her 20 somethings have been bad! I liked 4 of the 10. They respond to prompts on this app so it’s not just photos. I love celery with the dip because it’s like you are at a wing place! I love the Buffalo, ranch, celery the most about wings.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. And…I hear you on all your back to school thoughts. i do hope we get back this year even though I know it will be a huge adjustment and so many moving parts. And…I forgot to say to have a great weekend! 🙂🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know what I want. I don’t feel my admin gets our concerns. It’s also different now that I don’t have kids in school. As a parent I would want them back but as a teacher I think of the normal after spring break struggle coupled with covid.
      Hope you have a great weekend, too!

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      1. Given how I knew the numbers would get worse, Ive always wished we’d at least tried at the beginning of the school year. So now I’m ready to to get back when we can. I’m afraid if we wait until August, it will be so much harder. I don’t think school will be the same for some time, so I was thinking March-May would be a good trial run. We’ll see. I do think our district is definitely feeling the pressure. It is a logistical nightmare for middle and high so I understand hesitancy. Hadley and I may be going to Kroger this evening- I will have to look for those Oreos. 😂have a great weekend

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I totally agree and you make a good point. We had an optional meeting this week to hear about our school’s plan and it’s a non-plan. Teachers asked the most basic questions and there were no answers!
        The Gagas were on an end and not with other cookies so you may have to look.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I teach in a middle school in north central KS. We had the same concerns in August but our administration decided we were going to school and we have been face-to-face since August 17. There are challenges – kids are magnets and socially distancing is a struggle. They will choose to sit together with masks on rather than be 8 feet apart. Our district sends Covid reports every Wednesday. We had one case with all students and staff this week – student population in the district is 1300 or so. The kids do not want to be quarantined, but that happens although it has not been from a contact during the school day. (six boys are gone this week because of a basketball tournament contact on Sat.). We use Schoology to post assignments for those who are home. Out of the 120 kids I see every day, yesterday I had 5 quarantined. A few teachers with health concerns or who work with disabled students are being vaccinated this week. We have not seen colds, flu, stomach viruses, etc. probably because we are wearing masks. We just talked about our change in attitude from the first of the year and are glad we are at school.

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    1. Hi Lisa! Hindsight is 20/20 and I think we could have started in August or September. I am in the largest school district in Kentucky so what one school does all have to do. My sisters have been in school since August in Indiana and Ohio! They had very few problems until Thanksgiving. Now, it is more in and out of quarantine. We use Google Classroom and I really like it. Two teachers in my department used Schoology before all of this and they were made to switch. Sounds like your school is doing really well! Stay healthy!

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    1. You know I think we missed the boat – I think all of this work and changing schedules would have been worth it in September. Now, I think we just finish it out. Of course, I am speaking as a teacher and not a parent and my view as a parent is different. I am so glad your son has gotten to do more of the normal stuff!

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  5. I am so happy I dont have school age children or even college age kids. ITs been hard enough watching my daughters navigate WFH (Taylor) and Kelsey still going to work every day. But I will say both women have navigated it GREAT! I love those Oreos! Will have to look for them at Target next week. Well you know my highlight was my JoJo’s biscuits and my mom getting her 2nd covid vaccine. Will let you know thru IG how she does over the next 24 hours. Fingers crossed she doesn’t have any reactions. I told her to call me if she needed anything! Ok have a great weekend! I hope this comment works this time. 3rd time is a charm!

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    1. Me too! The college is doing things fairly normally? There are many good things about WFH but it is a huge adjustment. We are learning so much and I know your girls are adapting. I am so glad your comment is finally working!

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  6. Isn’t that TJ dip the best?? I love it! There are so many things to consider when opening the building back up. We are back in hybrid mode and the kids are doing well. It’s hard, but we are always trying new things to make it better. Congratulations on gettting your shot!! Have a great weekend!

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    1. It is so good! I love it with celery! Yes, I cannot wrap my head around doing all of this work for 6-8 weeks for hs. I think it might be easier and worth it for elementary and maybe middle.
      Thanks! Are you getting your shot soon?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I had the same questions about opening schools, but when I started working for a district in October that had been open for a month and half already, I realized that they found a solution to every single thing you mentioned. I think if districts looked at what other districts are doing, it could be like a cooperative learning exercise lol.

    And, oh my gosh, that vaccine line: I was in and out in two minutes! They did make us hang around for 15 minutes to make sure there were no adverse reactions.

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    1. I think part of my current opinion is based on the calendar. I think we should have tried to open in August or September. Now, it feels like a lot of work/changes that would have to be made for 6-8 weeks of school. And, you know how students act after Spring Break. We feel like they just want to open after Spring Break to get the state testing done. I feel that this is ludicrous this year. Why would we do that to our kids?
      I have been saying to use our private and Catholic schools as our model but there are some major differences like busing. We will also have more kids not willing to comply with rules. It is just so much!
      Two hours sucked. I am already dreading doing this process again in 4 weeks. And, we lose almost our whole work/prep day and it makes the rest of the week more stressful. Oh well.

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