I was looking over my TRS statement the other day - that's Teacher's Retirement System and noticed that next week I'll be starting my 32nd year teaching. That's \(2^5\) or 10000 - 5 bits so I guess you can't call me a two bit teacher.
Two and a half years at Seward, over 20 at Stuy, and the rest at Hunter College. I've had a lot of last days before school starts but this year is different. I'm betting that's the case for a lot of us.
I mentioned about burnout and not feeling any joy when I wrote about the CSTA conference but we're also starting a new year in a strange place due to the pandemic. On the one hand we have vaccines but on the other, we've got Delta. I'm scheduled to teach my undergraduate classes in person and to be honest, I'm not 100% comfortable. Will that affect my teaching? I guess we'll see.
Then we have practical concerns. My students should all be distancing so how will that affect group work?
As I'm writing this I just got an email from Hunter saying that students will have 45 days post FDA approval to get vaccinated. The wording seems to contradict the previous policy that in order for students to enter campus they had to be vaccinated. This is concerning to say the least.
When I started teaching I was always nervous before the first day back and then again for the first day teaching. Mid career it was more of an excited nervousness. Ultimately the nerves went away and while I sorely needed vacation in June by September I was looking forward to seeing my students again. This year it's mostly nervousness, discomfort and uncertainty.
I don't write this merely to complain but rather to share. I figure if I'm feeling this way so probably are others. We're not alone.
I've got some CS and teaching content posts lined up and plan to start with them next week as things get back in the swing but for now, good luck to everyone starting back up.