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