‘Twas the First Week of Virtual School

by Traci D. Fuller

‘Twas the First Week of Virtual School
by Traci D. Fuller

'Twas the first week of virtual school
And all through the house,
Teacher Mommy was stirring
Like a mad little mouse.
 
She loved her job teaching
For now, 20 years plus
But the year 2020
Made her want to cuss.
 
She prepared for classes
Not knowing what to expect
With less than a week of training
she feared online would be a wreck.
 
Teaching from her classroom
Was what virtual meant for her
The inconvenience was tolerable
And it was what she preferred.
 
It was an answer to prayers,
If truth be told
The lesser of two evils.
Cause face to face was too bold.
 
COVID cases were up,
Too high to put her at ease
Of sitting in a classroom
With numbers up to 30.
 
So, she did not complain,
When she had to leave her home
Her two daughters stayed behind
With Daddy, and computers of their own.
 
She realized her blessing
And, to God, she cried a prayer,
"Make provisions for the mommy teachers
With little ones and single home care!"
 
She dressed in her scrubs
And other Amazon buys
The PPE promised by her district,
Had not yet arrived.
 
She bought a HEPA air purifier
That sat near her desk,
And her self-purchased masks, gloves, and wipes
Would be put to the test.
 
The face shields she bought
Would probably be seen as a bit much
But Teacher Mommy
Wouldn't be convinced as such.
 
She had no Lysol,
That was a story in itself.
For even when she stood in line at 5AM,
It was never on the shelf!
 
But back to her classes
Because that is what this is all about
Videos? Bitmoji? Streaming?
She had to figure her plan out!
 
It took days to create a Virtual Class
For just the first week of school.
How in the world could she keep that up?
Was she too old to be "cool"?
 
Schoology was the platform
"It's easier than Google Classroom", they said.
But the number of buttons she clicked to find one thing,
Overwhelmed her instead.
 
"Kids are resilient"
She said in her head,
"They will learn this quicker than me"
… another thought she would dread.
 
She finally figured things out
Enough to get by.
But being kicked out of her 3rd class – not knowing why –
Made her want to drop it all, and cry.
 
For 20 years it was her wit and personal touch
That kept the kids ready to learn.
Now her smiles felt removed and disconnected,
Oh, how the tables had turned.
 
She was never a quitter,
So, she worked harder on day two.
She got home and showered
And crashed before the evening news.
 
"Teachers, open your doors and let them in"
Is what some people cry.
"You're ruining everything for us!"
"Why won't you even try?"
 
"No one like this setup,
Not even you do!"
"Tell me, Ms. Teacher,
Why should we even pay you?"
 
"Why am I to blame?"
She argued her plea
"I am no doctor, nurse, or counselor
My salary is NOT a babysitting fee."
 
"I am an educator,
trained and cultured to teach.
Take your arguments up with your leaders
The ones paid to represent the strong AND the weak."
 
"Perhaps if we worked together
We could see ourselves through
and take pride when we answer
Our grandchild's question, 'What did you do'?"
 
The voices haunt the teacher
Even in her sleep.
Is it worth the anguish
Of the entire community?
 
She wakes up in a sweat
But manages to walk a mile or two.
That made days 3 and 4
A little easier to cope through.
 
Day 5 finally arrives
And she released a sigh
There were a few "touch and go" moments,
But she did survive.
 
Saturday arrives
And Monday is coming soon.
She jots down her thoughts
and prepares her Virtual Classroom.
 
"I can do this",
She said, with a smile in her heart,
"Happy Virtual School to all,
And to all, do your part!"

Traci D. Fuller, Pearls and Pretty Pens © 2020

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