Back To Normal, Sort Of

back to normal

Inside of my classroom, things somehow feel to be back to normal. Sort of. The start of this school year seemed abnormally normal. That scared me. Sort of. At this point in the school year, I’ve given my seventh grade students roughly the same amount of math quizzes that I gave my seventh grade students one year before Covid-19 became Covid-19. Sort of. The students that sit in my classroom and learn and listen to me for hundreds of minutes every week so far seem to be adjusted to this back to normal, new normal. Sort of. And parts of that scare me. 

 

When I teach things I’d taught before masks and sanitizers were a thing and I can recognize students learning like how they used to learn, I feel grateful on my outsides. But on my insides, something is off. I like when I don’t have to bend or break my teaching even though I feel like I haven’t taught taught in two years. I like when I can recognize everything that is happening during morning group discussions, afternoon recess time, stretches of independent work sessions, and blocked-off, silent quiz periods. I like it because it looks and feels and walks and talks just like how school used to. I like it because it makes my job easier. I like it because––to be honest––lots of days I feel lazy.

 

And parts of that scare me. 

 

I also feel like students shouldn’t learn like how they used to learn. Thus, I shouldn’t be able to teach like how I used to teach. I almost feel worried that I am able to do what I’ve done and continue with doing those same things that I’ve done before the pandemic after the pandemic. Actually, it scares me. I don’t know if it’s them or if it’s me. Or if it’s us. 

 

Or what it is. Thinking about that part really scares me.

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Matthew R. Morris

Educator, Speaker, Writer

Matthew R. Morris is a writer, speaker, and elementary educator in Toronto. He has an M.A. in Social Justice Education from OISE at the University of Toronto and is the author of the forthcoming book, Black Boys Like Me. 

Matthew R. Morris

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