Teaching Profession

Tiny Teaching Stories: ‘How Will We Navigate This New Normal?’

By Catherine Gewertz — August 04, 2020 2 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The Powerful Moments of Your Lives, Distilled

We invite teachers to share their triumphs and frustrations, the hilarious or absurd moments of their lives, in no more than 100 words.

For more Tiny Teaching Stories, click here.

To submit your own story, click here.

‘How Will We Navigate This New Normal?’

BRIC ARCHIVE

I put Bill Nye’s viral Tik Tok about masks on Google Classroom
saying: I don’t know how many of ya’ll are still checking school emails. …
Soon I had a stream of precious digital avatars replying:

“I am here!”
“I miss you.”
“God Bless you, Ms.”

Missing the “Good Mornings”
Now, so many are mourning
At our county’s epicenter

But the proverbial
They
Tell us it is safe

How will we navigate this new normal?
Without hugs & shared Taki bags?
Without Uno games or small groups?
Only a few more weeks...

Amanda Ladish
8th and 9th grade English as a second language
Springdale, Ark.

‘A Mother Who Shot Her Boyfriend’

BRIC ARCHIVE

They pulled me into the office to say you would be in my class because they thought I’d be the best teacher for you. You were living with your grandmother and were anxiously awaiting the day you could go stay with your mom again. We talked about it all the time.

I was watching the news one night, heard the story about a mother who shot her boyfriend, sat straight up in bed knowing that was your mom. You were absent the next day. I called Grandma that afternoon. She told me it was true. My heart broke for you.

Laura Kirkpatrick
6th-8th grades, instructional coach, English/language arts
Alamogordo, N.M.

‘Poems From the Pandemic’

BRIC ARCHIVE

The shutdown of our district disrupted a Gwendolyn Brooks poetry unit that was just gathering steam. Continuing the study online, my students analyzed Brooks’ work but more importantly wrote poems that honored her style: gender poems, pride poems, personal-hero poems. A few students mimicked her iconic “We Real Cool.”

To celebrate the writing, I am assembling a souvenir book of students’ drafts to be disseminated when we see each other in person again. These poems from the pandemic channeled students’ creativity in ways I could not have imagined.

Karen Yelton-Curtis
11th grade language and literature
Fresno, Calif.

‘He Always Seemed Weary’

BRIC ARCHIVE

He was my challenge. He would come sit in my office, and we would just talk. His eyes always seemed to be heavy, and he always seemed weary. He was barely passing. He was the kind of person who had a presence when he entered the room, but he didn’t know it. His spirit’s light bulb was dim, and he was lost. That’s how he was when his time was up, and he graduated. I worried.

Years later, he surprised me and came to my new school in his Navy uniform. He thanked me for just listening.

Rakiba Mitchell
High school counselor
Detroit

‘Poop and More Poop’

BRIC ARCHIVE

I teach 12th grade. Mature and articulate seniors who have ideas that continue to amaze me even after almost 20 years. Sometimes, however, a student still says or writes something confounding. During the personal-narrative unit one fall, a senior ended a very touching piece about a hospitalized loved one with a phrase that’s been burned into my memory.

I agonized over how to talk with him about it. His response when we talked? He simply hadn’t known how to end it. Now years later, “Poop and more poop” is my response to many of life’s absurdities.

Martha Aborn-Paribello
12th grade English
Storrs, Conn.

About This Project

Teachers’ lives are packed with powerful moments: moments of triumph, frustration, absurdity, joy, revelation, and hilarity. We want to hear about them.

Submit your Tiny Teaching Story, in no more than 100 words, here.

Edited by Catherine Gewertz

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Boost Student Mental Health and Motivation With Data-Driven SEL
Improve student well-being and motivation with a personalized, data-driven SEL program.
Content provided by EmpowerU Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School Climate & Safety Webinar
Praise for Improvement: Supporting Student Behavior through Positive Feedback and Interventions
Discover how PBIS teams and educators use evidence-based practices for student success.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Management Webinar
Build a Digitally Responsive Educational Organization for Effective Digital-Age Learning
Chart a guided pathway to digital agility and build support for your organization’s mission and vision through dialogue and collaboration.
Content provided by Bluum

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Opinion Short On Substitute Teachers? Here's Something States Can Do
Student teachers can make good substitutes, but the rules often don't allow them to step in, write two researchers.
Dan Goldhaber & Sydney Payne
4 min read
Conceptual illustration of a new employee fitting into the workplace puzzle
Sergey Tarasov/iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words 'I'm Afraid to Return to the Classroom': A Gay Teacher of the Year Speaks Out
Willie Carver, Jr., the 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, is questioning his future as a teacher given recent anti-LGBTQ legislative efforts.
8 min read
Montgomery County teacher and Kentucky Teacher of the Year, Willie Carver, in downtown Mt. Sterling, Ky., on May 11, 2022.
Willie Carver is the 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year and teaches high school English and French in the Montgomery County, Ky., public schools.
Arden Barnes for Education Week
Teaching Profession Teacher Morale Is at a Low Point. Here's Where Some Are Finding Hope
It’s been a hard few years for teachers. These are the moments with students that are keeping them going.
8 min read
Conceptual Illustration of figure wallpapering blue sky over a dark night
francescoch/iStock via Getty
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Profession Sponsor
Education Beat: How Journalists Can Strengthen Coverage of Teachers and Learning
Teachers and journalists have a lot in common. Both play vital roles in helping people understand and engage with the world. And, unfortunately, both are often underpaid, overworked and disrespected, especially in today’s climate of increasing politicization of curriculum and learning.
Content provided by Public Agenda