You know what the most exhausting part of the online/ distance learning stuff is? It’s not the grading. Or the assignment creating. It’s not even the fact that now kids can turn things in 24/7 or that sometimes they need help at 11pm… No. It’s not the parent contact or the video lessons or the zoom meetings.
It’s the fact that I know these kids in and out, and I notice everything in their writing. I notice when a kid who usually does everything suddenly stops. I notice when a kid who would *never* copy and paste something does. I notice when the kid who was doing so good drops off the face of the Earth.
From the outside you might say, “something came up” or “he’s just lazy” or “everybody’s cheating”. But if you *really* know these kids and you check in on them it’s, “I’ve lost all motivation and haven’t gotten out of bed and I don’t have an appetite anymore” or “I’m so overwhelmed; it’s paralyzing, and I don’t know what to do” or “X kid ran away from home and didn’t take any devices to do his work”.
It’s being on mental health patrol in ways that were weighty before and unimaginably, infinitely more weighty now.
That’s what’s exhausting.