Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali. I’ve got to say, my coffee is sooo good today! Maybe I am just feeling a sense of gratitude, trying to make the best of strange times. I am beset with a lot of changes, as most of you probably are, too.
I’m a 6th grade teacher switching to online teaching to keep with the times and the state protocols. I’ve done my best to find the positives. Here is an intro video I did in the spirit of optimism:
(Yes, I know, I touch my face too much, especially when I’m feeling warm, a not-so-strange phenomenon for a woman my age :)).
So, here are five things you can do with online learning (or teaching) that you could not have done in a classroom:
1. Clip your toenails during a lesson
2. Wear sunglasses and a hoodie while completing (or grading) assignments (Good for students or teachers)
3. Raid the refrigerator for snacks as you wait for a student to give an answer
4. Pet your dog or cat, or your pet snake for what it’s worth….
5. Wear pajama pants. Really, no one will know!
I am going to enjoy the dog access the most! (He has appreciated me being home more). Seriously, though, I have been missing seeing my students. I have posted to my Class Dojo a few times this last week as we had a week added to our Spring Break. Well, now we have three more weeks off of school (at least), and Monday we will be starting online learning. Schools in some states are out for the rest of the school year, and state testing is canceled here in Florida. So, I am looking forward to communicating with my students and their parents. I just have to go easy on my arm and the mouse-clicking. I will say, yesterday after my home workout for the arm and shoulder, it felt better, despite being on a long conference call and setting up my classes online. There is hope!
Nature is buzzing around us, even though we are avoiding many things. A lot of parks are closed; nature is unbothered. Birds chirp when I wake to silence, as no cars are starting up this morning. I read that pollution has reduced drastically in China, and Venice canals are much cleaner. Yes, we can be a parasite on this Earth. I won’t go doom and gloom, okay. I love the sound of birds in the morning! My dog is happy, and I will take him for a walk later. The sun has been shining constantly. We will be fine! I had some down evenings of worry and despair, but that was five days ago. My church book group had a Zoom meeting for our discussion Thursday and will have an online service Sunday, so I’m feeling more connected. Maybe now that I have more purpose and will be teaching my kids again, I feel better. I can make other people feel better, since I’ve been actively seeking to learn what I can to calm my anxiety. Instead of feeling alone, we should all take this time to reflect and learn to unplug.
I loaded an app for meditation called Insight Timer. I really like it so far! The Curable app for chronic pain and Mind-Body issues also has great meditations. I signed up for an online course on Mindfulness which will yield a certificate when done through New Skills Academy online. There is a lot about meditation in there. I am exercising with things I learned in physical therapy and also logging in to see virtual yoga and abs classes through my yoga studio which is closed currently. All of this is keeping me healthy; heck, it is keeping me going! We have many ways to stay connected. Let’s practice them!
I have also finished editing my manuscript for the Malachi novel, which is focused on a young adult man taking an unusual job to make ends meet. This job forces him to face his own ideas of right and wrong. There is now formatting and a final proofing. Maybe it will be out in a month? I will let you know! Here is a preview of the cover:
Malachi, Ruse Master is a young adult novel with hints of sci-fi, as it intersects with characters and some events in the Detours in Time series. People of all ages should enjoy it, as it can take you back to your own identity struggles and clamoring for independence as a youth. There is plenty of action and adventure, too. I will follow it with a novel devoted to Ellie, whom we have already seen as a child, a teen, and an old, demented woman. She will intersect with Malachi in this novel and then have her own story in a novel to come out in 1-2 years. Time is not linear, you know!
If you have read Detours in Time, you should read the follow-up, Undercurrents in Time, in which Malachi is first introduced. I have reduced it to .99 for the remainder of the month. Find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DCCQS3N
Stay well, my friends. Do the things you love or find new things to love doing. Read books. Ask your writer friends about their books. Write a book! Exercise indoors or in your backyard. Stop and breathe the fresh air, and find a reason to laugh, with your family, with your dog, yourself, with your friends online. We will survive!