TGIF! Week of August 17

It’s Saturday, and I am going to post Friday TGIF because I can. I have to give myself permission to do so because I am prone to paralysis when I commit to something and am unable to follow it strictly. For example, I planned to write a few blog posts for the first two weeks of August, but failed miserably to do so.

Over halfway into the month of August and I’m finally able to come up for air. While it’s pretty common to feel overwhelmed and discombobulated when the school year starts, trudging through the unknowns of online learning have turned our world upside down. It’s not the kids; it never is. It’s finding a rhythm.

So, I’m writing and posting this on the “wrong” day, but at least I’m writing. TGIF: Shameless Saturday Edition. Since I’m breaking all my own made up rules, I’m also going to divide each letter into two categories.

A reminder of Brené Brown’s framing of weekly gratitude using TGIF:

T – I’m Trusting
G – Grateful for this week
I – Inspiring me
F – having Fun doing

Professional
I’m TRUSTING that in the long run, students will be okay. As a teacher, I will eventually find a rhythm for working from home, and things will slow down again one day.

Personal
I’m TRUSTING that Elías will be okay despite how much time we have to either put him in front of the television because we are live teaching, or let him play by himself. The guilt can consume me. As a teacher mom, there are some days where I question endlessly how much damage we might be doing to him or to his development.

Professional
I’m GRATEFUL for students who have expressed my class is a respite for them throughout the day, that my cheer helps lighten the bleak nature of online “learning.” The affirmation from students pushes me forward.

Personal
I’m GRATEFUL that even though I’m still seeking a professional rhythm and often have to fend off guilty feelings about placing E in front of the television, I am lucky to have him near all day. Kyle and I juggle time between live teaching, taking attendance, grading, meetings, answering messages and feeding Elías, playing with him, changing his diaper, putting him down for a nap. While it often leads to us working until midnight most nights, Elías is so much sunshine throughout our day.

For some reason, economics isn’t quite riveting to Elías

Professional
I’m INSPIRED by students who show up. There are students who work 12 hour overnight shifts. There are students assisting multiple younger siblings with school. There are students whose family members have died from the virus. The difficult stories are endless and yet – they show up.

Personal
I’m INSPIRED by myself. We just celebrated a year of being parents. Being a first time mom and a teacher during a pandemic has been rather bittersweet. As I wrote above, the guilt can be consuming. For the most part though, his giggles and cuddling inspire me to just love him.

Professional
I’m having FUN trying my best to make students feel at ease, cultivating a space of laughter, and learning their stories.

Personal
I’m having FUN as Elías’s mommy. With the encouragement of my mom and Kyle, I agreed to go to the beach. Since quarantine in March, Elías has only been in our house and my mom’s house. I don’t have words to describe his reaction to the ocean when we arrived. We had so much fun that we went two weekends in a row! 🙂

We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and I am going to do my best to extend grace and love fiercely.

What are you trusting? For whom or what are you grateful? What’s inspiring you? How are you having fun?

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