Nothing Works and I Hate Everything

This has not been a great week of distance learning. Zoom keeps crashing, I can’t share audio when I’m sharing my screen, I can’t get any grading done, and I just hate it all.

Yes, I’m being extreme. Yes, it could be worse. Yes, I’m still annoyed and frustrated and tired and I can be all of that at the same time.

I almost lost my mind yesterday. I spend all of Sunday making a weekly slide that is embedded on my Powerschool page. I have the whole week laid out. Links to videos and documents, links to flipgrids, links to the Zoom call.

Students in 6th grade, for example, are writing a compare/contrast essay about the books we read this year. I made a document explaining the essay and with an outline of what needed to be in each paragraph. Underneath the outline is a sample essay that I wrote.

But wait, there’s more! I made a video where I walked through the outline, then read my essay sample, pointing out key things.

And then, in my Google chat pops this message: What is the second paragraph supposed to be about?

I’m about to go Office Space on my computer.

But then, I felt better when students said in my class today that my weekly slides are so organized and helpful and everything is right there. One student wrote in the chat, one word at a time: I. LOVE. THE. DAILY. SLIDES.

It isn’t all bad. But until I get purposeful messages like that from students, there’s not feedback! There’s no room to read, no heads nodding or kids falling asleep.

David and I keep saying that we’re shouting into the void. No idea if any of it is helpful or heard. It’s so demoralizing. Teaching is hard, but it’s also so rewarding when it clicks. When our teaching works, the relationship and moment of connection with students is so amazing.

So, here we are. There are no other choices. The whole world is like this. That’s almost worse. The feeling of being stuck is so loud.

Man, I feel like I’m in my 20s again, unsatisfied and unhappy and trying to find myself. I just want my job back. I know what I love to do. I know what makes me feel stimulated and happy. It’s so sucky and unfair. I want my job back.


  • Reply

    maria phillis

    May 13, 2020

    I feel like all of our natural human instincts for connection are being smothered during this pandemic. When I see patients, I want to sit on their bed and talk to them, hold their hand, touch their shoulder, smile, etc. And now I’m thinking, what’s the minimum contacts that I can have (while still being thorough and doing a thorough exam) so that I minimize the chances that I spread this pandemic through the hospital.

    It sucks to be so cut off from the rewards of our professions. I definitely feel you there. ::hugs::

  • Reply

    Amy Evans

    May 14, 2020

    Preach, Meg. I never in my life thought I would miss meetings in my office. I miss meetings in my office. A cup of tea in hand, sitting on a well-worn couch across from a student and hearing their stories while they kill time before going back to class. You’re not alone in this.

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