Quaranteaching: Volume 2

What’s Going On in My World

Tomorrow’s the last day of school before winter break. Normally this time of year I’m like a jolly little elf, passing out sour candy canes, cracking jokes in the break room, wearing my blinking light necklace, throwing mounds of silver glitter down the stairwell (just kidding about that last one).

This year, I’m tired. I don’t just mean physically tired, like one of those marathoners crawling across the finish line because all of their muscles except about four have given out (and trust me, I feel it physically, too).

I’m having second thoughts about being a teacher. Not because my school isn’t the best (because it absolutely is) and not because I don’t love my students (because they are the lovey-est). Just… bigger stuff.

Until this year, I had a lot of pride that I chose to be a teacher among other career paths I could have considered. But right now, I’m embarrassed to be a part of a profession whose pleas (like, every single one) were ignored as we were cheered into buildings as a sacrifices for the economy. I will never forget that parents got to choose whether to send their kids to school while my high-risk colleagues had no choice in the matter.

Will I still feel this way in May? Is this feeling down just an extended DEVOLSON, exacerbated by the pandemic? Who knows. I can’t tell the future, lady. (Side note: a transportation employee once told my mom this when she asked when the next bus was coming and it was so rude and hilarious I’ve never forgotten it). But this blog is about my feelings, and creating a space where teacher feelings are human feelings. And if you’re feeling like I am? Just know that I love you. And I would send you a box of Cheez-Its if I could.

On a positive note, the things giving me life right now are: the oversized star on top of our tiny tree, the bag of homegrown grapefruit on my kitchen counter from a student, and my community, both within and outside of school. Like many people, Mr. Love Teach and I aren’t doing any indoor gatherings over the holidays out of respect for our healthcare system (and, you know, each other’s lungs), but honestly, I’m kind of excited for the opportunity to live simply this holiday, slow down, and opt out of the craziness.

I also discovered that a breakfast taco place I frequented in college at Austin opened a location near me and has an extremely user-friendly online ordering platform. So. God is real. (Tacodeli, if you’d like to know. Get the Doña sauce.)

One Great Thing I’ve Watched:

Happiest Season. Two separate people recommended this Netflix movie to me and I’m so glad I watched it! It made me feel Christmassy and joyful and want to move to Pittsburgh. (Anyone else find themselves rooting for Kristen Stewart and Aubrey Plaza to end up together until about 5 minutes toward the end?!)

What I’m Making Right Now

The Modern Proper’s Creamy Tomato Soup with Chicken and Vegetables

I’m a big fan of The Modern Proper—every recipe I’ve made has been a winner. But this soup in particular I’ve returned to again and again. So hearty! So (mostly) healthy! Except I add three cheese tortellini because I’m bad.

It does require chopping, which means I would not be making this on any school weeknight during the pandemic (I refuse to chop during quaranteaching), but it’s a great put-on-a-podcast-and-cook-something-easy recipe. And then you have soup for days and days and days. Get a crusty baguette and get going, my friends.

From the Mouths of Babes

I had my students do Mad Libs after final exams as a reward/sendoff into winter break.

It did not disappoint.

My favorite sentence: “Salty Claus is a hypocritical man who wears a nasty teal suit, brings pink eye to kids, and drives a sleigh pulled by 168,329,144 parakeets.”

I mean. If that doesn’t put you in the Christmas spirit.

Your Self-Care Action Item

Take exactly one minute to close your eyes, breathe deeply, and imagine a huge pitcher full of golden light being poured onto your head. Imagine the light is warm and tingly, like the warmth of going out into the sunshine after being inside a freezing office building for hours. The light covers your shoulders, then your arms, your belly, all the way down to your feet. Imagine the light not only feels great on your skin, but is actually healing you from the inside. All of the stress and guilt and resentment and insult and sadness and loss and grief from this year is, for this minute, melting away. You can almost watch this happen, like rinsing sand off your feet at the beach. Imagine that the light seeps into your skin and that a bit of it stays with you, even when the pitcher is empty.

If it turns out I can’t handle being a teacher after this year, maybe I could be a meditation writer. Nay, a meditation experience CULTIVATOR. I feel like I could get away with charging a fortune under the latter title, no? That’s not the point of meditation, but mama needs her yard landscaped. That is not a euphemism for anything.

I’m going to stop talking now.

I hope your holiday is full of love and laughter and light. You deserve all of those good things.



P.S. Are you going to have a student teacher next semester? Know a soon-to-be education grad? Pick them up a copy of my book and give them a huge hug for me. And a canister of CBD gummies.