Weekend Coffee Share: Faith Restored

Well hello, my wonderful Coffee Share friends! Come on in, grab you a cup of tea and have a seat. Today we’re drinking green tea with a hint of honey and ginger, or rather I am. There’s coffee pods near the keurig and some iced tea in the fridge. Help yourself!

This week’s coffee share should be shorter than usual since not much happened (not much happens anywhere anymore, it seems), but I can’t wait to give you all the details about what has happened this week!

In other words, it’s probably not shorter than usual… You’ve been warned!

You may have noticed that my mood has greatly improved from last week. While I’m not completely functioning at 100% where my actual work is concerned, the work I did get accomplished was very rewarding!

First of all, I am frustrated because I’m behind on grading, which is only made worse by the fact that the kids suddenly realize that their grades DO matter and suddenly I have students contacting me left and right about what they have to do in order to pass. Meaning that every time I go to look at grades, the pile (if there were physical papers) is bigger.

If I was only focused on that, my mood wouldn’t be much better. The thing that has really improved my mood is the other work I got done.

See, the CoronaVirus situation means that the state testing was canceled this year. While this is a positive thing for most, there are seniors who cannot graduate without passing those 5 silly tests. This week, I got to be part of a handful of individual graduation committees. Meaning that I got to meet with students, their parents, and other teachers to discuss whether or not a student had shown enough progress to graduate without taking the test. At the end of each meeting (held on Zoom, of course), the committee votes to decide if the student is eligible to graduate.

This happens every year for those kids who, for whatever reason (disability, language barrier, behavior problems, testing anxiety), cannot pass the test. This year, some of these kids could pass but didn’t have the opportunity to take the test because, well, the end of the world happened.

Thanks CoVid!

As such, a lot of these students seemed really nervous, like they thought there was a possibility someone would vote “NO” and they wouldn’t be able to graduate.

Of course, everyone voted yes (at least they did in the meetings I was a part of), and the students and parents were so excited that in at least two of the meetings there were tears of joy.

In one meeting, the mother explained (in Spanish) that she was unbelievably proud of her child because they had moved to the country very recently and she felt terrible because she could not help her student due to the language barrier. She spoke no English, and understood very little. She just kept hugging her child and saying how proud she was.

It was one of those moments where your faith in humanity is suddenly restored.

Another really positive moment for me was when one of my students (one I’d only had for a few weeks before the quarantine started) sent me an email telling me that she could tell that I really cared about the kids and that, even though she’d only been in my class for a few weeks, I was truly one of her favorite teachers.

Meanwhile, I was hit by some inspiration this week.

On Mondays on Twitter, there is a hashtag game, #MissMuseMe, where she posts a pic and then asks you to write a sentence to go with it.

Something about the sentence I wrote stuck with me through the week until Wednesday night/Thursday morning I was able to put together a short poem. It’s been a while since I wrote a poem, so I was a little worried it would be garbage, but I’ve gotten some positive feedback from my friends I’ve shared it with offline, and at least one positive comment on here.

If you take the time to go read it, please leave me some feedback; I want to improve as a writer.

But be gentle; I really haven’t written creatively in a while until recently.

This was the #MissMuseMe line I wrote

Speaking of feedback… I entered a microfiction contest a little while ago, and while I can’t post my story here, they allowed us to post in a forum to get feedback, and the feedback I’ve gotten there is mostly positive. Maybe it’s always positive because they are also people in the contest and they want similarly positive feedback, too.

Who knows? Either way, it’s made me feel better about my own little story.

I also found the inspiration to draft a few other posts that will be posting on here within the next week or so. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been ahead with my posts, so that is exciting!

I guess I really should have labeled this post “Weekly Coffee Share: Productive!” But I was more aware of how much every little thing seemed to affirm that I am on the right track.

That 4 or 5 month break I took at the beginning of the year to revamp this blog, along with the not entirely voluntary time to reflect (Thanks CoVid), seem to have brought me to the right place finally.

So, that’s what was going on this week in my world. How are things in your life? Are you surviving the Quarantine? Have you been going back out into the world?

If you want to be part of the coffee share, check out the host:  Eclectic Alli, or go straight to the link-up here

About Elizabeth

First and foremost I am a teacher. What I teach is a blend of grammatical art, literary love, and a smidge of spiritual awareness. My blog tries to combine the best of all three over a cup of tea.

12 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share: Faith Restored

  1. A wonderful post. And I can relate completely, as I taught school for about 30 years myself. Well, actually I still teach a little, but I focus much more on ministry and my writing now. Currently I teach adults in a college community education program, and it’s a little different. But I know the feeling of the kids being your own — how you are so eager for them to grow into all they can be — and how you hurt deeply for them when they hurt. Keep up the great work. The rewards are life-long for sure.

  2. Wow – Elizabeth. I know you told me that you are the same gal I recall from, well, quite a while back, but you sound so much happier and I really like both, but this new you is such a contrast. Whatever you did/are doing is none of my business, but I think you sound so much happier that I’m tempted to ask. I’ll bet you are a wonderful teacher and bet you could tell some wonderful stories about how you got there.

    1. It’s really easy: I changed school districts. I feel more supported and it’s considerably less stress. Plus, I really did some intense introspection and figured out what was really important to me. Thank you, though. I’m glad my happiness shows!

  3. I taught for 40+ yrs and just retired in October. I know the stress and angst in teaching during the pandemic is palpable. You are doing above and beyond your best and it shows. Have a great week.

    1. Thanks! I appreciate the positive feedback, especially right now when it’s not always easy to see the positive results of my job (this week was definitely an exception). Have a great week, and thanks again for stopping by!

  4. Hi Elizabeth,
    Sounds like you’ve made it over another mountain during the last week. I really loved your poem, but wondered about the comma in the first line after naked and whether to leave it out.
    You would have loved where I went for a walk today and I’ll post some photos and talk through the walk in a day or so. But you look over the edge of these rocks and bush into a vast expanse of water and it’s so profound. Your poem makes me want to camp there, except I’d be worried I’d walk off the edge during the night. That happened to a woman who was camping with her husband here in Australia, but its a suspected murder.
    I’m freaking out because our kids have suddenly been ordered back to school next Monday with a week’s notice and there’s no compassion clause other than talk to your principal. I don’t want our kids to be held back because of me. Anyway, the virus is very low here in NSW, Australia now. I’d be unlucky to catch it, especially as I’m being very careful.
    I’ll keep you posted on how this goes.
    Golly. Life in the times of coronavirus can get stressful and confusing.
    best wishes,

  5. I agree about the comma. It is not there in the longer draft.

    I can’t imagine going back to school right now! We’re talking about options for next year in order to maintain social distancing while still having real learning; we’re all aware of what a joke this thrown together online learning has become. It’s a ton of work for both the kids and the teacher, but not a lot of actual learning is going on.

    Whatever you decide, be safe. These are stressful and confusing times indeed!

    Thanks for stopping by!

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