Photo by Keith Luke on Unsplash

June 15, 2021 Hello Teacher! Day 183

Congratulations! It looks like we made it, made it through an unforgettable year of teaching, learning, in person, in school, in sickness and in health, here we are on the last day of school, June 2021. We have come a long way from March 2020, when we went home for the first time for what we thought was only a long weekend. We heard we would be out for few extra days for the purpose of a deep cleaning of our workspace. The information changed by the hour during the weekend of Friday March 13th, until Sunday, when we learned that we would be staying home for a very long time.

It was unfathomable to imagine the year that I just experienced.

Every decision that was made by our local, state and federal leaders seemed impossible to comprehend. I remember watching the news about what was going on in Italy and staring incredulously at the TV because people actually followed the stay in place orders. When the shelter in place order was issued in Massachusetts and then in many other states and then in the country, I doubted that Americans would be able to except this huge restriction on our freedom. No one decides when I can leave my house and where I can go and how I can spend my time. I did not expect that my own family would be able to follow the rules with grace and respect for each other, but for the most part as a country and as a family we did it.

And so here we are, on the other side of catastrophe, finishing our school year in a very normal way. The students are graduating in large masses, and many members of the family are invited to attend, and mask wearing is optional because so many of us are vaccinated in Massachusetts. Life looks recognizable again as people stroll together in groups, holding hands in public, meeting in restaurants for end of school year celebrations, and hosting house parties without fear of spreading the virus.

What continues to amaze me about school and teachers, restaurants and all workers, retail stores, etc. is our ability to continue to adjust to spur of the moment decisions. Perhaps it’s not an ability but rather a survival mechanism to just keep going, keep moving forward, don’t look back. Today is not a day for looking back, it is time to look ahead with hope and promise of dreams coming true.

With my students’ dreams in mind, my graduation speech would have gone like this:

Dear loved ones, colleagues, and all of us who survived a year of education during the pandemic, I welcome you to pause for a moment or two and look around at the lovely people who endured a complete change in habits, activities, and behaviors during this past year. Take in this new person that you thought you knew. That person is not just the one in front of you, beside you, behind you, but that person is you. You have been moved and changed by your experience, perhaps in positive ways, and in some negative ways. So I challenge you to look in and discover the new you; the you that has been transformed by a pause of everything that you thought was normal. To sum it up, everything that we take for granted, especially the simple act of hanging out with a friend, was no longer a part of our lives, (pause) for one full year!! Say that to yourself one more time before the forgetting takes away the importance and impact of 365 days of your life.

So as you look inside, and look around at all of these people who have shown incredible strength and bravery, imagine sending love to all those beautiful faces who survived with you. Your generation is unique. Your experience is powerful. Use the lessons learned from a year at home to forge a future that makes space for all of who you have become, and/or, are becoming. Good luck, do well, and use your brave wings to fly, soar and make a difference. Thank you for listening.


Photo by Simon Wilkes on Unsplash

June 10, 2021 Hello Teacher day 180

Today as I rise with the sunrise I realize this exceptional school year is about to come to a close. The plethora of emotions that I feel bubble to the surface of awareness during my early morning walk, but I am surprised that I am not overwhelmed with the flow of sadness or excitement or exhaustion that I normally feel as a school year comes to a close. Nothing was normal this year, not even my emotional response to it. Every once in a while I would fall into a routine of feeling…


Photo by AMAL BEN SAAD on Unsplash

June 10, 2021 Hello Teacher day 180

Today as I rise with the sunrise I realize this exceptional school year is about to come to a close. The plethora of emotions that I feel bubble to the surface of awareness during my early morning walk, but I am surprised that I am not overwhelmed with the flow of sadness or excitement or exhaustion that I normally feel as a school year comes to a close. Nothing was normal this year, not even my emotional response to it. Every once in a while I would fall into a routine of feeling…


Photo by AMAL BEN SAAD on Unsplash

June 10, 2021 Hello Teacher day 180

Today as I rise with the sunrise I realize this exceptional school year is about to come to a close. The plethora of emotions that I feel bubble to the surface of awareness during my early morning walk, but I am surprised that I am not overwhelmed with the flow of sadness or excitement or exhaustion that I normally feel as a school year comes to a close. Nothing was normal this year, not even my emotional response to it. Every once in a while I would fall into a routine of feeling…


Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

During my mandatory mask break today with one of my classes, I overheard a teacher wishing another teacher “Happy June!” Sweet words every year, but especially this June, after the historic year we have just endured…

May 2021 will go down in history as the month that ushered in a seismic shift in everyone’s schedule. The pandemic created a much needed pause, and then May rushed in and overturned, or, at least attempted, to negate any possibility of creating a permanent pause in my routine. I can honestly say that during this month I experienced a complete 180 degree change…


Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

During my mandatory mask break today with one of my classes, I overheard a teacher wishing another teacher “Happy June!” Sweet words every year, but especially this June, after the historic year we have just endured…

May 2021 will go down in history as the month that ushered in a seismic shift in everyone’s schedule. The pandemic created a much needed pause, and then May rushed in and overturned, or, at least attempted, to negate any possibility of creating a permanent pause in my routine. I can honestly say that during this month I experienced a complete 180 degree change…


Photo by IIONA VIRGIN on Unsplash

My head is so full of ideas and situations that I want to share but I don’t know where to begin. First of all I noticed that I haven’t posted in about ten days and it’s not because there is a shortage of experiences to talk about but rather there is a flood of emotion and information. Well let’s start with today. In spite of our best efforts as teachers and the union that begged to pause state testing, today marked the first of three days of MCAS state standardized testing for our children, our dear children, the ones who…


Photo by Some Tale on Unsplash

This is our second full week back in school full time and the struggle in my schedule is pacing. After teaching longer 60 plus minute virtual classes two or three times per week, the question of the week is how many activities are appropriate in a forty minute in-person class that meets five days per week? Being together live creates a different movement of time. The human dynamic of live interactions adds more distractions and disruptions, more spontaneous teachable moments, for example. When a student is in front of me and immediately puts her head down on her arms, and…


Photo by Katrina Wright on Unsplash

I figured I owe it to you to write twice in one week, especially this momentous week we teachers and our students just had, you know the one that put us back into our classrooms, seven periods per day, five days per week, after we had taught and learned from our homes for over a year! You can only imagine the incredible highs and lows the students and teachers have experienced this week, and I will do my best to highlight a few particularly memorable moments. As I eat my ‘lunch’ of yogurt and a divine coconut creme-filled donut during…


Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

May 3, 2021 Hello Teacher! Day 153

T.S. Eliot begins his epic poem “The Wasteland” with “April is the cruelest month,” but that is because he did not live through May 2021, the month that changed our previous year of isolation and confinement with a deliberate meanness. Today felt like going from 0 to 70 mph with the rooftop open, hair blowing in the wind, eyes watering, pedal to the metal! To prepare ourselves for the onslaught of students, from 250 students two days per week to 630 students five days per week, the administration returned to the 7-period schedule…

Heidi Chase

May I continue to be inspired by the ups and downs of my personal and professional relationships

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store