The Last Four Months: Part One

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This is probably not going to be polished.

I have a lot of things swimming around in my brain.

The last four months have been transformative in a way that nobody anticipated.

“In these difficult times” “In these uncertain times” “When <arms flail> all this happened”

The Backstory…

A year ago, I began working at Code to the Future, where my main role was to go into elementary and middle school classrooms and coach teachers on integrating computer science into their classrooms. I also developed curriculum using Scratch, LEGO Education WeDo and EV3 Robots, Minecraft Education Edition, and Trinket.io for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

On March 13, I was in Illinois, supporting a school with their second project showcase for the year. We had a great day of showing off all the great robotics projects that the kids had made. At lunch in the teachers’ lounge that day, we were talking about coronavirus and what that might mean for schools.

I drove back to the airport, got checked in (TSA Precheck is worth it, everyone), and sat to wait for my connection to Chicago and then back to South Dakota. On the television at the gate, there was a news conference happening. It was ongoing coverage of the president announcing a national emergency.

One vivid memory: one person on the flight was wearing gloves, a mask, and wiping down every surface of the seat and armrests with a Lysol wipe before we took off. I remember being a bit annoyed with having to smell that scent in our tiny regional airplane.

The Current Reality

I got home that night…and I haven’t left. The furthest away I’ve been was the 15-minute drive to get takeout from a restaurant one night. I am so thankful to live in a place where there are groceries and retailers so close.

The next day, as schools were announcing their plans to do emergency remote/online learning, I wrote up these plans for online video learning. I was hesitant to post it. I didn’t want to feel like I was capitalizing or preying on people who had never done this before.

The Facebook Group I run, Teachers Using Google Suite for Education, started to get hundreds and hundreds of membership requests every day. (We’ve gone from 20,000 members to over 80,000 in the last four months.) The group has since turned into a Google Educator Group, GEG Virtual.

GEG Virtual Logo

I suppose the most impactful thing that happened…was that after two months of working online and from home, was that the company laid off all of their coaches. So, I’m currently seeking new full-time employment.

I have a couple contract jobs that I’ve been chipping away at in the past couple weeks, but they won’t keep us in our house or eating for the long term.

I continue to pray for patience and understanding why this is happening. Look for further posts in this series where I plan to talk more about things I’ve learned in this pandemic emergency.

Until next time, keep a song in your heart.

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