Guest OpEd: A teacher’s reflections

By Chris Ward
Posted 5/27/20

This week was our last week of school and I spent the morning reflecting on my 8th year of teaching. It’s been definitely the biggest rollercoaster ride of a year of all time. I’m proud to be a …

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Guest OpEd: A teacher’s reflections

Posted

This week was our last week of school and I spent the morning reflecting on my 8th year of teaching. It’s been definitely the biggest rollercoaster ride of a year of all time. I’m proud to be a part of a staff that has been so instantaneously flexible, compassionate, and creative as we had to switch to remote learning seemingly overnight. We preach all the time about “resilience, grit and perseverance” and I think the whole meteor of chaos that is COVID has allowed us to practice what we preach and sharpen our skills in these areas. Comfort and routine in life is great in many ways but can tend to dull our ability to endure, which is a bummer because endurance is such an incredible human trait.

All that being said this last week feels unearned and sad. There is no sense of closure, joyfulness, or community that the end of the school year normally brings. No high fives, big smiles, or congratulations. Friday rolled around and it was just over. It’s super weird and if I said it was easy, I’d be lying to you.

I love being a teacher because I love being there learning along with my students, with my coworkers. I loved seeing my kindergartener get excited to go to school in the morning and to pick her up every day and hear her adventures with her amazing teacher. She did such a great job and it is tough knowing that she didn’t get to really wrap up her very first year of school. My heart hurts for her (even though kids show more than anyone just how adaptable humans can be).

Not really sure the point i’m trying to make here or if I’m really trying to get anything across at all, except to say there are many things in life to be grateful for but it’s OK to be bummed out too.

Just keep on doing your best and putting goodness out there. Help others along your journey and greet each day with excitement but also compassion. At times, especially times like right now, that’s literally all we can do.

The sunrise this morning just reminded me of the complexity of this whole thing- how you can feel so much gratitude in some areas of life while feeling loss in another. And that’s OK.

Chris Ward hosts “Like A Bigfoot” podcast weekly, and teaches eighth grade science at Oberon Middle School in Arvada. He and his wife, Dr. Lindsey Ward have 3 daughters ages 6, 3 and 15 months. They have lived in Arvada for 3 years.

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