Pre-Pandemic, what did we know? Teachers knew nothing.

Title (Dublin Core)

Pre-Pandemic, what did we know? Teachers knew nothing.

Description (Dublin Core)

March 12th, 2020 seemed to be a perfect spring day in Southeast Georgia, it was a beautiful morning. I am a teachers assistant in a self-contained classroom in Liberty Co., GA. We had a long weekend ahead of us, March 12th was a Thursday and we had Friday off, 5 day weekend, and all of the kids knew it! So as any teacher would do we had a relaxed day. We taught normal morning lessons, talked to the kids about why they will not see us on Friday, Monday, Tuesday, or St. Patricks day that was coming up. So, we painted pictures of rainbows - nothing out of the ordinary, at least not in our little self-contained bubble.

The teachers for some time had been hearing about this virus, and that it was far worse than the severe flu we saw in 2018, or anything else we have seen from overseas. This illness was something that we all were closely monitoring in the news because schools are the perfect breeding grounds for germs of any illnesses; however, we knew one thing - that there were some measures being put in place for travel.

Then we get an all-call on the intercom in our classroom, "Hey 201, we just want to inform yall the main water line is broken up the road. We suggest you call your parents to get ready to receive their children, its a half-day." STUNNED we all took a moment, took a breath. Our 7 kids had no idea what was happening so we all took to our phones and called the parents of the most vulnerable first, then the ones we knew may take some time to get a hold of. Next we informed our parents of the children who ride buses that they will be on their way home within the next hour as the school had no water. We rallied up our kids, went through our daily clean up (4 hours earlier than usual) and gave them all tight hugs. Some of them didn't want to leave, some really didn't understand why they were going home so early, and some just wanted to get out of the crowd. In the end, I hugged every last one of my kids I took up to the front office because I had a sick feeling about this weekend. I told them to be good and listen to their adults and I waved goodbye.
For most, that was the last time I saw that set of kids again because last year's class was older. Those children went onto middle school.

Friday, March 13th, 2020 came and rumors started that we may not be going back to school on Wednesday because of some virus called Coronavirus. What was this? Why? No one understood. My teacher friends were all communicating online what was happening, a lot of uncertainty. The weekend came and went, nothing. Monday, the 16th of March, we got the news we weren't to enter ANY school building, this virus is highly contagious. I'd seen the news and by then China, Japan, Korea, and Italy were on total lockdown, Spain was following suit; along with the rest of the world, the US was the only nation in the world not really doing anything. However, in Liberty co. we were on lockdown, schools shutdown. At some point we were told only lead teachers and 2 assistants per grade level may go into the school to help get the children's personal belongings, this did not happen. Everything was shutdown, it was too dangerous.

Personally, I didn't hear from the majority of my students after March 12th. Many factors are at play here: little to no technology in low-income homes, parents decided that since school was out they weren't obligated to stay in the area so they went to visit family in different Counties/States (so no communication was made) or parents didn't pick up the phones when we would call, those that we did see online wasn't for long because our teaching method is very hands on for Special Education our parents had no idea how to help at home and some gave in a put YouTube videos on all day.

This wasnt easy for ANYONE I know. Pandemics, changes in general, and a sudden life change is ALWAYS hard. School as we know it will never be the same. As of today, this new school year we are doing hybrid teaching, which is giving parents the option to send their child to school face-to-face learning (with a mask on at all times) or they can have virtual learning. Our county provided everyone child and staff with ipads, so there's really no excuse at this point.
I'm optimistic for the future, I feel a change in teaching. It's hard to change a system that is so engrained in our systems but we can figure it out.

Date (Dublin Core)

Creator (Dublin Core)

Contributor (Dublin Core)

Type (Dublin Core)


Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)


Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Contributor's Tags (a true folksonomy) (Friend of a Friend)

Collection (Dublin Core)


Date Submitted (Dublin Core)


Date Modified (Dublin Core)


Date Created (Dublin Core)


Item sets

This item was submitted on October 16, 2020 by Zayda Ortiz Diaz using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

Click here to view the collected data.

New Tags

I recognize that my tagging suggestions may be rejected by site curators. I agree with terms of use and I accept to free my contribution under the licence CC BY-SA