Starting a School Year… Differently

Ordinarily as in years past (I mean pre-Covid,) today I would have reported to my school to make sure doctor’s orders were in place and equipment set up for students I provide care for to use in their classrooms. This would be done the day before school begins. Instead I’m assigned still to the enrichment center in Brooklyn until Friday… Friday is the latest last day as per the DOE. Things could change last minute as they have been.

I really don’t mind working at the enrichment center. I work with a great nurse/friend. And today we met the nurse who is usually assigned to the school we’ve been occupying. Her name is Angela and she is very nice. She spent most of her day clearing out not needed items and rearranging furniture in the office. I didn’t blame her. If my office space were occupied by someone else I would want to clear things out and take stock of what goes where and what is needed/not needed.

As long as I’m at the enrichment center my hours are the same. And that’s ok, I like getting home when I do, and traffic isn’t bad at all. So if things are so great at the enrichment center why do I want to return to my school so bad? I miss my school plain and simple. I miss my coworkers, the paras and teachers I haven’t seen outside of Facebook since schools were closed back in March. I miss the jokes we share and laughing together. I miss being serious with someone who takes the same things as serious as I do.

I have no idea how many of our students will attend school in person and how many will be attending remote, meaning from home. I don’t know what our hours will be for students attending in person. I really miss the students. I know my workload will increase when I return to my school and provide care for the population we serve, but I don’t care. My school is home for me. I received the nicest email from a co worker who was concerned that I wasn’t returning to my school at all. She said if I didn’t come back “it would be an incredible loss to our school.” I gasped. What a nice thing to say.

I also miss my office and my desk. I know where everything is and I know how to call just about anyone in the building for anything I might need. There’s something to be said for familiarity.

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