Anyone else feeling this way?
Usually at this point in Spring Break, I’m starting to feel as though it might be time to go back to work. I miss my colleagues and students, and wonderful as my cats are they simply do not care that I’ve just read a great book (nor do they want to read it). I’ll check my email… maybe do some desultory work on a project or two… and then worry that I haven’t finished my Spring Break To Be Done list and rush to finish that. Then, the night before classes start, I’ll toss and turn because school.*
This year is different, though. We had a “COVID-19” day for the last day before Break, which meant that seven scheduled classes did not begin to explore their research topics. The pandemic means that no one will be returning to campus until early May (maybe), so there will be 350 students doing their research online only – and those students will be spread out around the world. We’ve created a digital portal for the library and are holding “office hours” from 5:30am-9:00pm ET (don’t worry, we’ll take turns).
So far, so doable.
Between now and Monday, we need to finish a generic Resource Guide that will walk students through online research and prepare to customize it based on the class or course group need. We need to create discipline specific resource folders in our LMS so that teachers will have “one stop shopping” for access to what we can do to help. Preparing for students to “return” on Wednesday entails ramping up our marketing content, making sure they know what online resources we can provide as well as promoting books and ways to take a mental break during this difficult time.
How close will we get to finishing the now seemingly endless list of things that need to be done before then? We’ll see. I’m so grateful for my AISL and ISS colleagues, all struggling with the same questions and problems and all sharing resources and ideas via Zoom and other platforms.
* despite not currently being a student, I still get that sleepless night just before school restarts after a break – many teachers, including my father and a recently retired colleague, also have had that feeling 40 years into their careers. Must be a school thing.