SADDEST SCHOOL DAY BEFORE A BREAK

Yesterday was one of the saddest days I have experienced as a teacher.  Yesterday was our last day before going into a mandatory time out of school because of the pandemic created by COVID-19.  

You would think that the prospective of having more than 3 weeks of Spring break would excite and make happy any K-12 student or even their teachers.  But that’s not exactly what I saw. 

I tried to start my first class like things were normal but my intention didn’t last more than a couple of minutes.  In no time I understood that the kids wanted to talk, to be heard. We chat about many things, maybe trying to keep our minds away from what everyone is talking about.  Although my school has in place a plan to assign and submit academic work, we created snapchat class accounts, with the only intention to support each other. It was agreed that only silly and respectful pictures, videos and stories were going to be sent via this popular app.  

Today I sent a snapchat to my AP Spanish language classes and asked them to tell me the first word that comes to their mind when thinking about the Coronavirus.  I believe in helping our students verbalize their fears.  

The following are the most common words they sent me.  I wanted to share these with my world language colleagues because while yes, we must keep them accountable with their academic work online, it’s more important to keep in mind how they feel.  

We must be empathetic, kind, flexible and on their side.  We must forgive their mistakes while they try to work from home in a situation that is not only stressful for them but for their entire families, their communities and us!

Please keep in mind these words because they are the same words running inside our heads. After all we are only human.

Quarantine, Panic, Scary, Depressing, Sad, Social distance, Unknown, Fear, Anxiety, Sadness, Uncontrollable, Isolation, Pandemic.

All these words explain why instead of celebrating the forced break, we all were sad.  It’s the fear of the unknown.  

Teachers, in our hands we have the chance to make each day a special one, no matter the way in which the class will be delivered, let’s plan with our hearts and with love.

(This blog post is dedicated to my AP Spanish language students who have also created some lessons that you can share with your students during this difficult time and that I will be posting soon)

6 Comments

  1. Gracias por este mensaje, Diego! Me siento igual. Ya los extraño a mis estudiantes y estoy recontra preocupada por ellos 😦

    Mrs. Cecilia Cummaudo, MA

    Spanish 2 & 3 Teacher

    Orange Lutheran High School

    714-998-5151 ex. 598

    Strengthened by Faith. Prepared for Life.

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

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  2. Through all the uncertainty that the future holds, we must not forget that we are humans with a heart first. I agree, thanks for sharing. I didn’t get to see my students because we were already on Spring break. Prayers for unity so we can all get through this life changing event.

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  3. Dear Sr. Ojeda, you are a compassionate and talented educator, and I feel so blessed to be following your inspirational blog, IG, and TPT store!
    Your post moved me to tears as I am in this exact situation as a 6th-8th grade Spanish teacher. We have one week of break, to be followed by at least 2 weeks of virtual school, where all teachers will be filming themselves daily, teaching in their “real” classrooms, posting the videos, and managing assignments via their Google Classrooms…
    Yes, these are confusing, sad, and scary times! But perhaps it is dire situations such as these that give us a much-needed “wake-up call”…The restrictions imposed by this pandemic grant us ALL–educators, students, parents, the entire community!–a unique opportunity to stop for a long minute and fully appreciate the many, MANY privileges we have for so long taken for granted in our lovely communities and in our wonderful country! Perhaps a renewed perspective on the value of our educational system is exactly what we need to eliminate complacency….And realizing that we are not in control of everything in our lives is a good lesson as well. 🙂
    I, for one, am excited and energized by the challenge of connecting with, caring for, and teaching my students in a whole new way. Trying hard to look for the positives in this dismal situation!

    ¡¡Bendiciones y amor a todos!!

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