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Teacher of the Year Blog

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Teacher of the Year Blog
One year ago, our world changed.  In the days leading up to March 13th I remember US History students asking me, “Mrs. White, do you think schools are going to close for the ‘rona’?”  And I responded, “No way!” because this history-in-the-making was so outside of what I have known and studied.  I had listened to the news and was following the story of this “coronavirus” since January 2020, I had heard disease experts expressing their fears and concerns about an outbreak in the United States, yet I still couldn’t bring myself to believe that it would cause us to shut down and close our schools.  Then…it happened.

I remember the announcement, the shock, the fear of the unknown.  And then watching Harford Technical students leaving the school with trash bags full of their locker belongings, their construction boots in hand, their toolboxes, and bags.  It was surreal watching them all leave in that way in the middle of March.  I remember saying, “See you in two weeks!” as they left the building.  It is unbelievable to me that it has been a year since I have seen some of those faces.  And honestly, who knows how long it will be until I can truly see their faces again without a mask covering it. 

It has been a challenging year, hasn’t it?  A year of growth, change, resilience, the list goes on.  We built a plane while flying it so to speak, and quite frankly, I think we did an incredible job.  This time a year ago I had never opened Teams, never imagined having a “desk job”, and I certainly did not have an understanding of all of the webtools and digital teaching strategies available to me.  I also didn’t have a full understanding of inequities in our own county, specifically concerning technology.  COVID-19 has been terrible, don’t get me wrong.  But it has opened our eyes to so much as individuals and as an educational institution, and I think it has done so for the better.  We are continuing to make positive changes to our system, changes we may not have identified without the pandemic.

In less than 3 days I will be opening my classroom doors again to my students.  Much differently than in the fall when I only had 3 students attending out of 167.  That was only .01% of my students! Now I will have 21 students, 12% returning to my classroom. To say I am excited is an understatement.  I cannot wait to have a classroom again, students at desks, and actual, physical hands to call on.  I cannot lie though, with my excitement does come a little fear of the unknown.  As before, I’ve never taught this way. My colleagues who are already back in the elementary schools have shared that it can be exhausting to learn to teach in a new way…again.  But, like them, I’m ready for the challenge, and I know that I have an incredibly supportive staff at Harford Tech