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My classroom is a time capsule

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On Thursday, March 19th, at 3:32 p.m., after a strange week of training on remote instruction, I left my classroom for what would be the last time that school year. At the doorway, I paused, reached into my purse, pulled out my phone, and took a quick picture. It’s a time capsule of a moment before mask-wearing was recommended and then required, back when the term “social distancing” still felt like marbles in our mouths.

After months away, stepping back into my classroom feels familiar and comforting, but also heavy and constricting, like putting on that favorite pair of jeans after wearing sweatpants every day since March.

On the classroom bulletin board are some of the “Community Photo Projects” from February Break. Students took celebratory pictures as a counter-narrative to what we learned about redlining and its legacy in the Bronx. In the photos, my students are smiling and flashing peace signs. They’re buoyant and spirited and completely unaware of what looms in the not-so-distant future. A handful of students volunteered during lunch to help me arrange the photo projects on the bulletin board. How many of these faces smiling from the back of the room lost a loved one this year? I hope they still know the joy they shared in these images.

The furniture has been rearranged so that the custodians could wax the floors, as they do lovingly every summer. I return to a classroom that gleams. I was obsessively wiping surfaces with Lysol before the building closed. The custodians put in long hours to disinfect the building. No one has been here to sully their efforts. What is a school without children? Clean, for one. Gloomy, mostly.I return for the first time in mid-August, so my gleaming classroom is stiflingly hot. I open the few windows. It takes me a good 10 minutes to remember where I store the remote control for the air conditioner: in the upper right drawer of my desk. How could I forget that?

 

 

 

-Krisy Lawlor, Chalbeat Colorado

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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