I returned to my cubicle after a sick day, and oh, my, the work had piled up. My gradebook was packed with portfolios, tests, and quizzes all waiting for my expert grading skills. My inbox was bulging, and many were seriously must-have-attention-now messages. My physical mailbox was full, too – full of the big white envelopes that families mail to me filled with portfolios and collections of math work.
Meanwhile, I got on the phone and made up as many of the previous day’s scheduled phone calls as humanly possible.
The saddest relic of the sick day? Communication broke down, and many of the students who normally attend my Monday virtual class didn’t get the word that it was cancelled. I received phone messages and emails that bordered on rude. How dare I become ill for a day and throw a wrench into the well-oiled machines of their schedules! Deep sigh, deep breath, cough, cough, cough, and I headed back to the list of make-up work. I couldn’t control the cancellation of my class, and I did what was within my power to communicate the cancellation.
But as I addressed the most pressing concerns, wrote up a placement change for a student, gathered information on state test accommodations for another, and then step by step did a quality job of grading, I felt a little better. Not relaxed, but calmer.
And then the following memo turned up in my work inbox:
From 11:00-1:00 today the League of Women voters will be at (the charter high school in our building). If you need to register to vote, change your address or request an absentee ballot (and you are a city resident), feel free to come down to the main hallway and talk with our volunteers.
A sign that life is good, and our society still has hope for positive change: Voter registration was going on downstairs. I wonder if flu shots are available there, too?