I had to go to the doctor today for a follow-up on my diabetes blood work. The doctor was beaming and gave me a pat on the back for the good results. Apparently diabetes success stories for people my age are rare. A little later I passed by a church that had a sign proclaiming…

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I returned to school today for a couple of days of work before the students return next Monday. Even though I am in my 22nd year in the classroom, I confess that I have been wrestling with what I should say to my students when they return. Many will have suffered losses and some of them will have lost everything.

Monday will not be a day to jump right back in to the study of economics, algebra, or literature. Monday will be a day to begin the process of returning to something approaching normalcy, but it won’t be normal, just like today was not a normal work day for teachers.

This morning I unlocked my classroom door for the first time in 2 weeks, turned on the lights, and standing in the doorway I surveyed my room. It felt as if I were looking at someone else’s class in different school. Though packed with desks and decorated with colorful posters and photos, the room now seemed barren and unwelcoming.

It’s the same room I’ve worked in for the last 5 years and one I walked out of the day before the storm, but my senses told me otherwise. I suspect many students may see this school (and all of life) differently too.

I may be wrong, but I suspect the usual pre-class chatter on Monday will be quite subdued. If so, then I expect to have a more attentive audience when I stand in front of the class after the bell rings, but what will I say?

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