Thursday, December 31, 2020

A 2020 Teacher's Year End Review

 This has been the hardest year of teaching for so many people, myself included. We left our classrooms last March (Friday the 13th/ full moon and all that) expecting to come back in two weeks after the whole Coronavirus scare was supposed to have died down. We never came back...

...At least not until the next school year, and even that started started a month later than normal, thanks to COVID. Teachers were trained virtually about virtual teaching, and then our students at were given a choice. Half of mine opted to stay home, half of mine were in the classroom. So I've been logging on to Teams meetings for students around the state, while simultaneously sitting in a room with a few masked students. I've been sending home packets of supplies, and asking for emails of finished work or taking screen shots as they hold it up for me to view and critique. It has not been easy, or very fun much of the time. 

When you feel like 2020 was a wasted year and no progress was made, do what I just did and take inventory. Write down all of the little or big accomplishments. Even holding your ground and maintaining 2019 goals counts in this year when extra doses of grace are needed. Here are some of the things that I could still do despite this crazy year...and some of the things happened because of this crazy year and access to zoom.

As an educator I was able to:

  • Present at the Aspiring Educators Summit, a national conference in North Carolina.
  • Attend  a meeting with the GA Teacher of the Year and Jill Biden about education
  • Attend the State Superintendent Teacher Advisory Committee Meetings
  • Attend monthly meetings with The American Printing House for the Blind and a handful of art teachers for the blind from New York to California.
  • Be featured in BYU Magazine F2020 
  • Participate in the Museum of Art and Science's Festival of Trees by designing a Helen Keller's garden themed tree with paper flowers made by my students and I.
  • Help Teach the Master of Education Creativity in the Classroom class at Wesleyan College
  • Work as Assistant Director for Wesleyan College's Center for the Arts Summer Intensive and teach Costume Design.
  • Serve on various school committees. 
  • Be the Co-Christmas Party Planner for our school-wide, staggered time, social distanced party.
  • Put together a virtual school-wide talent show.

As an artist I was able to:

  • Ship work off for "Print-Making and Impression," Art Exhibition featuring printmakers from around the world, at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. My husband was in the show too which means we now have two copies of the awesome catalogue of work. (Show hangs from October to February.)
  • Participate in Inktober by sharing daily ink drawings on social media based on a given prompts
  • Visit the Detroit Institute of Art and the Heidelberg Project
  • Attend a virtual OSU artist reunion and my graduate school mentor's memorial service in which printmakers from around the country discussed his influence on our work and teaching.
As a human I was able to:
  • Slow down.
  • Start playing the piano again.
  • Start going for daily walks.
  • Work in the garden.
  • Learn new dinner recipes.
  • Lose 20 pounds.
  • Participate in Pensacola disaster relief/ hurricane clean up.
  • Start having bimonthly sibling zooms.
  • Celebrate my 23rd wedding anniversary in quarantine.
  • Watch my daughter turn 16, get her driver's license, get her first job, and get into college
  • Watch my boys go to work and college together.
  • See my oldest son survive a motorcycle accident, learn to drive stick, and finish his bachelors.

So life goes on. Despite cancelled trips to Alaska, New York,  Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Despite cancelled proms and graduation ceremonies. Things are still happening. You are still doing something, still making progress. Notice and celebrate each step you took forward on the slippery slope of 2020.

Exhibition at Elizabethtown College, in PA

"Rodent" from Inktober: A woodchuck picked a pickled pepper

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