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The Good Stuff by Shelley Bennett

Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

By Shelley Bennett

There are some days when it is hard to find the good stuff. Today started as one of those days. It was the first day of teaching in a hybrid schedule, which meant half of my students would be in desks in front of me and the other half would be at home watching on a screen.

It took me awhile to take roll, figure out why some “A” kids were at home, why some “B” kids were in person. I still don’t know if I marked them correctly. Forgive me, Sara. (Our sweet attendance clerk).

By the end of first period I was exhausted mentally and physically. I looked out into my classroom and saw similar expressions. My kids were tired. My kids were confused. My kids were weary.

I had to rally.

During my prep period, I remembered that last year my word was “Pivot”, as in the famous episode of Friends when Ross tries to move a couch that is clearly too large for the apartment he is putting it in. Ross continually yells “Pivot” as his friends try to maneuver the coach up the stairs, around corners, and through the hallways to the destination.

I felt it was appropriate with how our teaching schedule changed from time to time last year. We would start in person, then Mr. Nugent would email “Pivot” and we would change to distance learning, then a few weeks later “Pivot” to an A/B schedule. If only I had known what 2021-22 would bring.

Before school started, my friend and former colleague Laura Rotlisberger suggested that “Bob and Weave” might be a better approach to the school year. We laughed and agreed that it seemed on target, especially with the closures from the Dixie Fire that already delayed our start.

“Bob and Weave” lasted for about nine days.

In my reflection I decided that I’m moving on to the Five Rules of Dodgeball for the next part of the school year. You might remember them from the movie with Ben Stiller: Dodge. Duck. Dip. Dive. Dodge.

I don’t even know what the analogy means yet, but I think it’s going to work. I think it means that when Mr. Nugent says “Dodge”, I will. And when Mrs. Huber says it’s time to “Duck”, I’ll do that too.

I am thankful for their leadership along with Mr. Nielsen. They are making the difficult decisions and breaking it down for us Average Joes with simple directions and coaching.

On that note, I am thankful for my colleagues (or my teammates if we’re going to go with this Dodgeball theme). They show up. Every day. Weekends. Holidays. Early mornings. Late nights. Put on the uniform and go all out for our kids. They even sub in when there’s no one else.

So, first period kids, tomorrow is a new day. It will be better. We’ll find the good stuff.


Remember when news was ‘newsy’? When you read about weddings, family events and engagement announcements in the newspaper? If you have something that might be newsworthy, please submit it to shelleybennett24@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to include it here in “The Good Stuff.”

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