Monday, April 12, 2021

Hello dear readers! How was your weekend? I am happy to link up right here for Hello Monday and I will also do a reflection on Week 1 of In Person Instruction at the end because some of my readers asked (o.k., two readers asked – ha!).

Friday I came straight home from school and just sat. I wasn’t even that tired from the day and I couldn’t believe it. I had a good 2 hours to just chill and I watched t.v. and read blogs and messed around on my phone.

Then, I headed to Tom’s office for the first event in a really long time. His company is so good about providing activities for the employees and their families and the owner expressed how happy he was to be able to do this again. They had a Nashville recording artist that is from here play a two hour outdoor concert and had two food trucks.

This is the back of their building.

It overlooks a pond. It is really pretty. On Fridays in the summer Tom and his department do cookouts for lunch on the company provided grill.

We were supposed to be 6 feet apart; we talked to many people that were fully vaccinated so that was a positive. We wore masks to go to the restroom and to the food trucks.

His company is just so nice. It is owned by two brothers who inherited from their father and grew the company tremendously. It is a commercial construction company. We stayed until 9:00 and then went home and fell asleep not long after.

Saturday morning I was ready to go to Trader Joe’s! I went at 8:15 and there was no line. It was wonderful.

I came home and had another cup of coffee on the patio. It rained off and on all day long on Saturday.

There was a spring market at the nearby shopping center and they had to move it inside. I checked it out and went in several of the boutiques but I didn’t buy anything.

I found out that Mason was going to come home with Jack around 5:00 so it was a nice surprise. I made a teen charcuterie board and the boys loved it.

I ran to another boutique before they got home because I lost something that was supposed to go in Jack’s Easter basket. While I was there I saw this cool beer can candle. It looks so cool and it smells amazing.

Ignore our ugly not yet renovated kitchen, but Tom took this picture.

My mom had sent a bunch of letters I wrote in college – phone calls were expensive on landlines so I guess we didn’t call that much. The above photo is the three of us taking turns reading my letters in my 18 year old voice. That is Jack looking at Tom taking the picture because Jack was reading I think!

It was hilarious! They couldn’t believe all the minute details I gave about times my classes occurred, when they got cancelled, homework and tests, activities, dances, parties, and how many guys I talked about! There were many details I had forgotten. I talked about guys named Shane, Shawn, Fred, Rod, Rodney, John, Tony – who are all of these guys?

We read them in chronological order and it was really funny to hear the ones from April of the end of my freshman year since that is where Jack and Mason are right now. I talked about fall scheduling, my dorm selection, and needing to find my summer job.

Biased mom here, but my kids are so witty and quick. Their comments were making me cry laughing.

For dinner they wanted my burrito bowls, but I added the nearby Mexican restaurant’s chips and queso.

We ate and watched a couple of comedies that Tom and I are watching right now. Then, Tom and I sat on the back patio with the lights on and talked. The boys played games and hung out the rest of the night.

Sunday morning I was up and at ’em at 8:00 again, but this time it was Kroger. I just needed a few odds and ends that I can’t get or don’t like to get at Trader Joe’s. It had been a really long time since I had stepped foot inside and I kinda enjoyed it.

I cooked some things, prepped some things and then I walked in the still drizzling weather. Friday night was so nice, but the rest of the weekend – blah!

Reflections on Week 1: (Feel free to skip if you aren’t interested!)

The week went really well. We have the school divided into two groups by alphabet. One group goes Monday and Tuesday and the other goes Thursday and Friday. And, there are those that are remaining virtual. Class sizes are small. My smallest is 3 and my largest is 14. But, this means that we are teaching the same lesson many, many times. For example, I have to teach the same lesson 9 times each time I teach it because I have my virtual during my planning, my 4 Group A, and my 4 Group B. With my other class, I only have to teach the same lesson 5 times.

I absolutely hate the mask. I need them to see my lips and even my tongue for proper Spanish pronunciation. The silk Pomchie’s mask is the only one I can tolerate for 8 hours. The mesh coaches’ mask below started to irritate and the Athleta wasn’t as breathable. I cannot say enough about the Pomchie’s brand which you can find online. They even come in kids’ sizes.

I talked a lot on day 1 for both groups, because that’s kinda necessary on the first day – going over expectations, rules, procedures, etc. The second day I didn’t have to talk as much because I had them making posters for part of class. The less talking you do in the mask, the better, which stinks when you are teacher and have to talk for your job. I didn’t have trouble hearing them through their masks. They did pretty well.

I felt like a real teacher again. I felt myself get into my teaching groove at the front of the room and it was a good feeling.

You forget how much banter there is before class starts and at the end of the class and that’s all part of it. You can get to know them so much better in person.

I had a sweet girl tell me she felt bad for me virtually because she said I would say a joke and everyone would be muted. She thought it must have been hard. Awww! I told her I just heard imaginary laughter in my head.

Do you have any questions for me? I can’t think of anything else to tell you about week 1!

What was the highlight of your weekend? I hope you had more than one!

Amy

15 thoughts on “Hello Monday – Weekend Highlights + Week 1 Reflection

    1. It does, but I guess it is not that bad. It still is so much better being in person! There is a need for virtual, but in person is where my heart is, I think.
      It did come too quickly!

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  1. I was trying to explain to my son how different schooling is when you’re in person more since it’s nearly the end of the year and I feel like he still doesn’t know many of the kids or teachers all that well. But we are on spring break this week and enjoying our relaxed schedules.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He will be in for a great surprise next year of all is normal! I’m sorry he hasn’t gotten to know people well yet. It’s been so hard for this age.
      Enjoy your spring break and then it will be the final push until summer!

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  2. I love that you’re getting to see the other perspective of teaching. Good, bad, or indifferent, everyone teaching this year should get to see both sides. I did a lot of virtual this year too. It’s much harder than in-person, once you get used to things.

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    1. Well, this is very close to my normal! Other than the masks and the smaller classes and the kids further apart, I am teaching in my style. I am even going to do pairs tomorrow for something.
      It has made me realize how much we give them in person and that virtual cannot replace it!

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  3. I bet it was so funny to read those letters.
    Have you seen the masks that have clear plastic in the mouth area? Many of our speech pathologists have them and the kids use them for speech therapy. That may help you for teaching Spanish. Do your Mon/Tues kids log on to hear you teach on Thurs/Fri or are they totally virtual those days? When we had 2 day cohorts our kids logged in when they were home so we only taught each lesson one time. The totally virtual kids logged into that class too. I used to teach half day kindergarten and it can get so tiring to teach the same thing two times a day. I can’t imagine doing it more than that. Have a great week!

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    1. It was! Yes, I have seen them. I have heard they fog up really bad and are hot. I have been curious, though. No, we are not allowed to do virtual with in person bc of worry about privacy issues. The other three days they are to work on their own. I am kinda glad we are doing it the way we are because I think it keeps it simpler. You too!

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  4. I love this post. Sounds like a great weekend and a successful week back to school. Your letters home…I love that you all read them aloud 🤣 and that Tom thought to take a photo. You sweet student’s comment about your jokes. I love it. Last week, we my kids’ school stopped walking through thermal detectors and today they (my kids ) told me they thought they would be able to take down plastic dividers on their desks and now wear masks at recess soon? I haven’t heard that though. I hope you have a great second week of school!

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    1. Thank you! I had many moments at school where I got teary-eyed. It is really hard to separate who you are as a person from a teaching career. We never had thermal detectors! Lol! I think it would be great to take down the plexiglass. I am a bit worried about the variants for the young kids. You would not believe how many of my students are vaccinated or halfway there. It is amazing and wonderful!

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      1. I bet it’s so difficult! Your students are lucky to have you…in person and online. Yes, quite a few 16+ have been vaccinated here, so that’s so hopeful for the older kids.

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  5. I feel so much family love in that kitchen of yours! Yellow walls – who cares!? Your sons will probably have yellow walls in their kitchens in the future! You mentioned that you’re a bit concerned about the boys coming home for summer… Well, I just had my oldest daughter home for Easter break, and I must confess – it was hard… They want to be independent and babies at the same time. (?)
    Thank you for sharing information about school! Am I one of those two readers? 😀 Otherwise you have to include me, and that makes us three!
    Have a lovely week, let’s do this!

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    1. Aww that is sweet. The advantages of my kitchen – I did so many crafts and made so many messes with them in it! It was not fancy. I do have nice appliances and have always had nice appliances.
      I get it with your daughter and there will be an adjustment period for both you and I. I sat them down at Thanksgiving and said I did not want to treat them like babies and asked what they needed to have a good break and it was wonderful. I know it may not be that way this time. I also talked to Tom and told him my thoughts.
      Yes, you are!

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  6. I loved reading your reflections on the first days back in the classroom. I think my son really missed the before and after class banter when he was virtual last spring and for the first few weeks this year. The “teen charcuterie board” is so much fun! My aunt has a lot of letters I sent in college and in my 20’s. I was also surprised at how much detail I put in them. Not many phone calls and no email or social media! Have a wonderful week.

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    1. Aww thank you. I know you can relate. Your son seems like the kinda kid who teachers love to chat with! The letters are so fun to have. My charcuterie board was kinda redneck! Lol!

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