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When my school announced the plan to move from a virtual to a hybrid teaching model last fall, I was apprehensive. One of my colleagues, however, was delighted. She said, “This will be great! We will have two days (Monday-Tuesday) with a slower pace at home to ease into the week, then three days (Wednesday-Friday) of seemingly normal life and getting to see everyone. Just enough time to be with people before I become exhausted from being around them again!”

So for the past several months, my school has been operating on this hybrid schedule. Two days of the week…

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Over the course of the past year, I have heard the phrase, “a failure in imagination” replayed over and over in news and expert interviews. From our failure to imagine the pandemic to our failure to imagine citizens may not heed expert advice to the failure to imagine the actions of white supremacist groups. This year, Americans have failed to imagine the possibility of challenges and also effective solutions for the most dire circumstances.

We have been woefully unprepared to face the most challenging situations of our lifetime. And yet, Americans are often noted for their ingenuity. Consider the inventions…

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Who came up with the idea of teaching bimodally this year? Who thought this might be an effective means to teach our K-12 children? Really, I want to know if that person was an educator. Did they think this experience through, or was it just a quick decision in a tough moment that everyone latched onto? And, why did everyone latch onto it? Was there no one who thought this concept through to the actual presentation?

What I imagine the inventor of the concept thought was this: A teacher can have technology access to welcome students into the classroom from…

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I have been teaching on a hybrid schedule since October. Teachers have been on edge and walking on eggshells in hopes the virus will not spread in schools. So, it was with great delight my colleagues and I learned Governor Hogan moved educators up to the second group on the vaccine list. The process moved so quickly that within a week of Hogan’s decision every educator in my school had appointments to be vaccinated.

I anxiously awaited the vaccination day as anyone would. I was extraordinarily careful all week to ensure I had no symptoms and was healthy enough to…

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Will 2021 be a better year? Are we on a path back to normalcy? Will we once again be able to connect with friends, laugh at jokes, and live without constant fear? Will 2021 be the dawning of a new day? We are all so anxious for 2021 to save us.

Our 2020 challenges were daunting. Living with a highly contagious virus has been traumatic. So many of us became severely ill, and so many died. Not only have we lived with loss of “normalcy”, we have had to live with loss due to death.

Yes, 2020 was a year…

Then You Can Write A Book

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Have you ever considered writing a book? Is writing a book one of your dreams, but you are overwhelmed at the thought of starting? Have you started a book but got lost in your ideas? If so, it is time to rethink the concept of writing a book.

I have always wanted to be a writer. From the age of 7, I would spend my time writing stories or articles in my notebooks. As I aged, I still had the idea of becoming a writer, but pulling a book together was an overwhelming thought. I started several books myself, and…

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A few months ago, I had an idea for an uplifting Medium essay about an open water swim I completed in Turks and Caicos. I started the draft hoping to publish in one of the larger publications, like the Ascent. I knew if I included the story of my training and the race itself that I could have a substantial length essay.

I worked on the essay on and off for a few weeks. I had other ideas that were quicker and easier to write, so I completed the first. Because this swim story was near and dear to my…

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Here we are at the end of a most challenging year. We all want 2021 to be the year of our dreams more than any previous year we have lived. Everyone is setting resolutions and creating plans for growth, success, and joy.

I, myself, have created goals and plans for the first 6 months of 2021. Overall, I want to generate more income from my writing. I want to shift toward writing as a worthwhile side hustle. I also want to lose weight, just like many of us who have been using foods to cope through the pandemic. …

All you need to do is take one step forward

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Last January, I set a goal for myself. I intended to publish my first book. I had two ideas, and I hoped to self-publish one and submit another to a publishing company. I set up a calendar, I set up a monthly goal plan, and I wrote. Until, the pandemic.

As a teacher, I was overwhelmed in the spring with the switch to online school in addition to the general stress, anxiety, and isolation the pandemic lockdowns brought for all of us. The last thing I wanted to do was sit alone in my office and reflect. …

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Covid’s impact on children has been overlooked during the past 9 months. We have ignored their needs and expected children will simply roll with the punches as the punches come. We expect them to learn and achieve in virtual school despite the environment. We expect they will buckle down and work hard to learn as if nothing is happening around them.

Just learn on the computer now, we tell them. Just use your computer. Even when we have in-person school, everything revolves around the virus. Wear your mask. Stay 6 feet apart. Eat lunch outside in the cold weather. Don’t…

Jennifer Smith

Dreamer. Water lover. Educator. And mom. @Jennifer_Smith5

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