By now, I would have their names written on desk tags and locker tags.
By now, I would be assigning each student a number and labeling mailboxes and cubbies.
By now, I would be planning out my first week with students, filled with movement, collaboration and team building projects.
By now, I would be thinking of what work to hang up for Open School Night.
By now, I would have written my welcome back letter to students. The letters would be in envelopes, addressed with happy stickers, ready to be sent.
By now, I would be feeling my teacher brain click back into what I know about launching a school year.
But it's back to school 2020 and I don't have a final class list. I don't know if I am teaching the students who are remote alongside the students who are face to face.
If that is happening, I don't know how it works. I can't envision making it work.
I need my digital tools right away but students won't have their chrome books for weeks.
I am worried about it all.
I am worried about being able to hear children through their masks when I have a hearing problem, wear hearing aides, and struggle to hear kids accurately without their mouth being covered and muffled.
I am worried about how to make a classroom feel cozy and welcoming when students are separated and behind plastic shields.
I am worried about my 2nd floor classroom without air conditioning and hot September temperatures, now with masks thrown in.
I am worried about how my own children will deal with all these changes to school.
I think knowing more will help. Having the plan set, either way, will allow me to begin to prepare better. Everything so uncertain and up in the air is making me feel so utterly unprepared. Being unprepared is something I fear- it's what haunts my back to school anxiety dreams. Always some version or variation of being unprepared causes me the most anxiety.
Today I am going to do the things I can do. Organize my home life a bit more. Grocery shop. Prepare my welcome back letter for whenever I get a final class list. Breathe in air without a mask in my air conditioned house.
How are you handling all the unknowns?
Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski