“It’s always something!” That saying reminds me of the late, great Gilda Radner yelling it on Saturday Night Live. She also used that saying as the title of her autobiography. Given the challenges and tragic circumstances that she experienced throughout her life, it proved to be a fitting title. “It’s always something!” could also describe the month of August for me. On August 1st, my family and I excitedly moved into our new home. On August 31st, I was cleared to come back to work after hurting my arm. In between those events, we have dealt with a number of those unexpected house issues that appear without any prior indication after moving in; a 24 hour power outage; and preparation for this unprecedented school year. For some reason, my wife and I had this belief that all of our problems and stresses were going to be solved when we moved. Were we wrong! While it’s been great having more room and more freedoms than we previously had, it has also come with a whole new set of problems and stresses. The point that is being made is that the beginning of every school year leads to new worries and new anxieties for students, parents, and teachers. With this being a school year unlike any other, the new worries and new anxieties happen to be different than they normally are. So it is necessary to encourage our students to learn to overcome these difficulties. Fortunately, our students have you as parents and we teachers to help them learn through these challenging times.
In the upcoming week, both Seventh and Eighth Grade are concluding Unit 8 in the Writers’ Choice textbook. There will be a test near the end of the week, and they will most likely be allowed to use their textbooks and their notebooks. This is incentive for them to be completing the exercises in class along with making the necessary corrections when we review the work. It is really up to the students’ to be accountable for completing this work. In complying with the social distancing protocols, I am not circulating the room as I normally would to keep them on task. My hope is that by allowing students to use textbooks and notebooks, it will eliminate the need to study at home. Expecting students to spend more time at home preparing for a test seems counterproductive based on the dynamic of the school environment.
Lastly, thank you for the many well-wishes, referrals, and help that so many of you sent to me after my accident last week. In addition to that, thank you for your patience, especially to those of you doing remote learning. This did put me a little behind in that area. Overall, your support was a pleasant reminder of what a special place our school community is.