thirty minutes.


each of our faculty members

were allowed to go into their room alone for 30 minutes

during that time we could take

whatever we imagined we might need

to teach school — for the rest of the year.

walking into my building, it was silent

 i saw the ‘welcome back to the sun’ and ‘happy spring’ artwork

my class had created for the hall

expecting to be back soon after our spring break

walking into my classroom

it was sad

left as it was back in mid-march

memories, things undone, things i wish i could still do with my class

cards, and art, and notes, and pictures, and colors, and books

30 minutes to decide what to take

 i filled my bags with toys and books and art and puppets

 anything i thought might make my kinder feel a sense of comfort

as i teach them from afar and show them familiar things

 it was hard to close the door on the year

 knowing i will stay connected to each of them

but also knowing

something will be lost

in not spending my school days

sharing a room with them.

“time flies over us, 

but leaves its shadow behind. “

-nathaniel hawthorne

108 responses »

  1. I can’t even begin to imagine how surreal that all must have felt. Beautifully articulated! But this moment in time will not last forever. One day soon, you will be sitting in front of a room full of smiling faces again. Stay safe, stay strong, and best wishes!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It must be so difficult to be a major part of children’s lives, then suddenly not see them except on a screen. It is a lot lot like being a mother and seeing your kids grow up at a distance. I can tell you are a wonderful teacher. Hugs!!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. It is a lovely environment for learning and beginnings. SO glad you were able to dash in and grabbed wisely. Puppets! Yess – they will love seeing those again. Puppets make kinder kids feel safe and comfortable – they still identify with wonder. Sending encouragement and energy, working online with that age would be a big challenge – but obviously you are one of the special few up to that most important task. And Kinder is one of the most important events of an entire life. RC Cat sends a very large salute in appreciation to your sense of duty and willingness to persevere under trying circumstances. She said, “While her name, like Our own, shallot be lauded in books, We, she and I, shape the world and will be held in hearts forever by those of our little realms.” Yes, to that from staff

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Man, that would be hard. You grow so attached to your students, and know they’re going to move on at the end of the year, but this would feel so abrupt, so unsettling. But so necessary. Stay healthy:)

    Liked by 3 people

  5. beautiful job capturing the feelings of many teachers at this time. thank you for the work that you are doing; I know it can’t be easy, since I am sure your favorite part of being a kinder teacher is interacting with them throughout the day.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I hope you and the Kinders are all doing okay though Beth. Imagine this history they are living through. I have tried to encourage my grands to write about this. It will be good for their kids and grands to see. Be well Beth.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Two things: first, inspiring to see how you and other Educators are continuing your vital role in shaping the minds of the future, even with these limitations. Second, I am inspired by how an entire world has managed for the most part to radically shift our way of living in order to fight back against an unseen enemy…

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I think it is amazing that you teachers will be able to “save the school year” so to speak. I guess it is reasonable to assume all students have access to computers to continue learning with their, favourite (I am sure) teacher!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I can relate, being a teacher myself. The last day of school for us, I didn’t realize I wouldn’t get to see my students again. I am thankful for video chat technology that allows us to still connect in some way with our students!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ack – that is hard! I have not been allowed back into my classroom. We ended on a half day before spring break. The kids left at 11:00, we were notified at 10:00 that school would be closed until further notice and had that one hour to prepare items for the students to take home to continue learning from afar. Of course, we could not leave our classrooms because the students were there. So while they watched a book read aloud and ate their lunch during the last bits of time we had as a class, I tore through my cabinets looking for class sets of worksheets, reading materials, projects that I could send home. It was awful. That was on March 13th. Ugh. I wish now I would have thrown up my hands, handed out nothing, and sat on the floor with them just talking and sharing our thoughts. But we did not know that was our last time together as our classroom family.


  11. Thirty minutes????? I have no words of wisdom, no words of comfort. Your words touched me deeply. There are so many losses, so many heart-aches. Thirty minutes to get your stuff to teach your munchkins; thirty minutes to say “good-bye” to the school year; “Good-bye” to the Kinders who weren’t there any more…..You are one of our silent warriors; one of the quiet heroes who continue to work and continue to bring joy to our children. Thank you, dear heart, for the dedication, the work and for continuing to “show up” on days that maybe you just feel like throwing in the towel. I do not envy you your position. It is not an easy one. Hang in there, Beth, and know that you are appreciated and held. ❤ Lucie

    Liked by 1 person

    • it’s certainly a challenge, because most of our teaching is done in close proximity, and with ongoing face to face experiences and connections being made


  12. This was epic. The other day I was downtown & saw a parade of decorated cars with signs that said we love our students we love our Tigers we miss… etc. I was glad I was alone because I couldn’t help but cry. It was so touching. Your words bring it even closer to my heart. May this be the last time this happens. Ever. ❤️🙏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, Beth. I can’t even imagine how strange it must have been to walk into school, especially your classroom, knowing you only had 30 minutes to decide what to bring home with you to teach remotely. I’m sure you thoughtfully chose exactly what your kids will find familiar, comforting, and connected to you. I’m sure they miss you very much, but I have no doubt you’ll be able to bring some sense of normalcy to their lives, and lots of love and joy. Stay safe and healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is very poignant, Beth. We’ve been told that we can have 15 minutes, by appointment, in our classroom this week to collect resources. It’s not the stuff that I miss but my students!

    Liked by 1 person

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