Now what? The official blog.


Jungle Blooms

Start a blog, I thought

It could be fun, I thought

I just want a place to write instead of a journal so I thought a blog might be fun. I had a blog several yeas ago and I don’t remember having to jump through so many hoops to get started. This is my first post. You probably wouldn’t want to follow me.

I was a school librarian for 29 years. My official retirement began in June but now that my teacher pals have started back and September looms it finally feels real. I worry about my friends. They have started back in the worst conditions possible – a pandemic. A pandemic that the Trump government, the states and the DOE have not taken seriously enough and, as a result, are putting children’s and teachers’ lives at risk. I could not be more thankful and relieved that I don’t have to go through what they are going through.

Yesterday I zoomed with 7 teacher friends in a COVID era birthday party. It didn’t take long for the talk to turn to teacher frustrations, tech issues, and work loads. I sat quietly as they compared conferencing and grading platforms thanking my lucky stars for the timing of my retirement.

“Fuck you, Anna, for being retired,” Terri said, bringing her third finger close to the screen. It was a lovingly meant fuck you and I beamed back. “I’m so happy,” I replied. Someone groaned. “It’s not twice the work, it more like 5 times the work. I was so tired on Friday I couldn’t even follow a stupid TV show. Completely brain dead. I’ve never felt that kind of fatigue before.” she continued. I started to say you’re trying too hard or go easy on yourself or something to that effect but I knew that wouldn’t be well received because that’s what Terri does. She works hard and cares hard and is one of the best teachers I know.

Then she said something that worried me, “I don’t know how long I can keep this up.”

“I know, me either,” Kate, another great teacher, replied. And it’s only been two weeks! What if we lose our best teachers because of this mess? Many from our district have retired early or left the profession for a less risky situation. Are we for looking at the end times of public education?

2020 has given us so many things to worry about.

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