If you had told me that I would be sitting outside writing a blog post on the second Sunday morning in November, I am not sure if I would have believed you.
But I am. The sun has shifted in the sky from where it is in the summer. I can feel the sun on my temple, and I can see my shadow in the laptop screen in front of me. Like many summer mornings when I have written a blog post outdoors on the deck at home or by the lake, I am wearing a pair of shorts and a sweatshirt. The temperature is 67F or almost 20C , there is a gentle breeze, and the sun is shining. It is a beautiful morning.
Yesterday morning, the puppies and I, sat outside and I enjoyed my morning coffee instead of inside on the couch. They sat side by side staring into the backyard, seemingly on watch for the critters they long to catch. The two puppies are really dogs, but they behave like puppies do full of curiosity and eagerness to run, jump, and play. Ivy, the older one, will be 11 years old in a few months and Fern, the younger one, is a little more than a year and a half.
We are repeating yesterday morning’s unusual opportunity – sitting outside in early November.
Yesterday morning while Ivy and Fern watched for critters, I watched leaves waft their way down through the wind.
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Yesterday afternoon the deck was free of leaves, this morning new fallen leaves are scattered across the deck and the gentle wind is blowing even more from the branches above to the deck and garden below. Not all the leaves land on the deck, some land in the yard and others land in the garden beds. One even landed in my coffee mug moments ago. I fished it out and tossed it away. My daughter called out to the three of us and suggested we wait to work on leaves until later, but that won’t do. We won’t have weather like this again until the spring.
It’s Sunday and that means Monday will follow. Back to school tomorrow morning and lessons to be planned or revised and finalized. And, as always on the weekend, there are chores to do.
My school has been remote since last March. Initially, my school planned to allow students to return at the beginning of the year using a A-B schedule but changed course before school began and we’ve been remote since Day 1.
In late September, it was announced we’d return at the beginning of November with the A-B schedule and students (and their parents) could choose to come to school or remain remote. But that has been delayed due to rising infection rates in our area.
I’ve been able to go to school and teach from my classroom (as often as I would like), but I am still behind my screen and looking out at a screen of squares of students instead of out at lab tables whether I am in my classroom or sitting behind my desk in my basement office. This year I have 118 students spread among four classes. I teach sixth grade this year and my largest class has 32 sixth graders in it and the smallest is a class of 27.
I’ve had one young man join me for class and I have two more students joining me this coming week. I am excited, because many of our students are floundering and they need to be back in school. Many have been isolated from their peers since March 13th. This coming Friday is a Friday the 13th and will mark exactly eight months since the initial stay at home order.
Some of my students are doing very well and are flourishing in this remote learning environment, but I am taking it slowly with the curriculum and focusing on skills and developing relationships.
I miss having classroom full students, so I created a few virtual students to keep me company while I teach at school. They are truly the most well-behaved students I have ever had, but I’d gladly trade them for a room full of squirmy, talkative, and curious sixth graders.
We are not (yet) at another stay at home order, but I sense one is coming almost like I know winter is near. I am a positive thinking person by nature, but I am praying for negativity – if you sense my meaning.
I am not in control of that any more than I am in control of November’s weather. So, I choose to make the days count – my family and friends, for my students, for my puppies (really dogs), and me. It brings peace and serenity. Today is going to be an amazing day, so I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, especially when the weather is a pleasant surprise.
What are you doing, or what did you do with your fall Sunday afternoon?