Reflecting on 2020 seems a little strange because it was such a strange year!
January was possibly the most normal month of the year. I worked in retail at Lilly Pulitzer and officially started my Master of Education program at UVA. I was also teaching 5th grade full time.
Another seemingly normal month. I was still working at Lilly and working on my Master’s degree. At this point, we were still teaching in person.
Reflecting on 2020-March
This is when the whole world turned upside down. March 13th, Virginia’s governor canceled in-person classes for two weeks. I’ve never been so thankful for my grad classes to be online so nothing in that aspect changed for me. Luckily, I didn’t have any practicum assignments this semester! Not even a full two weeks later, the governor announced school buildings were closed for the rest of the school year. Never in my wildest dreams did I foresee using Zoom and Google Hangouts to communicate with 5th graders.
We started emergency online learning. This meant that we were given limited time to teach (we were allowed to use 30 minutes per subject a week) so as not to put a strain on families. I also did read aloud twice a week, and we read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. An absolute favorite of mine that I normally don’t get to share with my students.
We put together a virtual promotion ceremony for our 5th graders and I finished my first official semester at UVA.
I started my summer semester at UVA. I took Children’s Literature and Writing Across the Curriculum. So far, these are two of my favorite classes that I’ve taken.
Reflecting on 2020-July
Possibly the most intense month of the year. This is the month the school board approved a plan for all elementary students to go back in person 5 days a week; or they could choose to be 100% virtual. This meant that I started looking for a home. Albeit, I was definitely in too big a time crunch. There was also an emergency school board meeting to push back the start of the school year.
I finished up my second semester at UVA in early August. All of my classes were writing and reading intensive, so I was really glad they were over in the sense of how much time they took up. However, I miss them and wish I could take extension courses on them! We had 3 weeks of preservice weeks fo teachers where we learned about canvas, moved my classroom to the middle school, and began to set up for the “new normal” thanks to COVID. I also started my new term at UVA at the very end of August.
This month brought the first (and hopefully last) time I will ever start school after Labor Day with students. I am not a fan in case you were curious. This whole school year has felt off, and I actually believe it’s because of the start date more than anything else. I also turned 27! Because of my school board’s plan to be in person, I also moved.
Reflecting on 2020-October
We continued with in-person schooling and I continued with grad school. I had to do some practicum assignments and had the privilege of working with one of my former student’s little sister. I moved again. This time, I moved in with Anna, who you can meet here.
In November, I continued teaching and grad school. At this point, I was wrapping up projects and we really started grading students based more on knowledge than effort.
Reflecting on 2020-December
Anna and I baked, had snow days, and a dog moved in! Anna’s dog Laralei moved in with us. Laralei had been living at her parents’ house. However, we decided she should come live with us. The cats haven’t forgiven us, but they are becoming more adventurous. I also finished up my fall semester at UVA. I also found out I only have two more semesters left. As long as I pass the Praxis test, I will finish my Masters in early August! I also really started focusing on my blog again and found more passion for it than before!
I cannot pinpoint this part exactly, but I have felt my relationship with God strength and I’ve been putting a lot more faith in His hands than before.
I can’t wait to see what 2021 brings us! What are your thoughts on 2020?