Today was my first day of school.
It was a soft opening, to be sure, with five students attending who had fulfilled the obligations to attend the opening – filling out a health declaration form, taking a virus test to show that they were no carrying the virus.
But it was an opening.
It was an odd feeling, knowing that we were literally some of the only teachers in the world opening our school to students today. That our students were some of the only students in the world coming to school.
Odd isn’t the half of it.
This week we’re only having half days, so the students left at noon. Then, at 3:30, we had other students show up for a prearranged virus testing worked out with a local hospital. We had around twenty students turn out for the virus testing, including my daughter.
If all things go well, these students will come on Wednesday, after their tests have returned negative.
It is a slow, soft opening, but that’s the way it should be. We’ve all been self-isolating for four months, and there’s no need to rush this. And even though I had very little actual work to do today – show up, talk with the students a bit, do whatever needs to be done – I came home wiped out.
After close to four months of The Routine, breaking it has officially worn me out.
But it’s just a matter of training the muscles that had grown flabby to be strong again. For example, the muscle that helps me talk. I found myself stammering and stuttering a good bit today. I just wasn’t used to talking to anyone but my family. I also found that I wasn’t sure how to talk to students anymore.
But it will come back to me. It will all come back to me.
It actually felt really good to have things returning to something like it used to be. I won’t say normal, because it’s not normal, but it’s close.
It’s 2020 2.0.
And it was my first day at school.