Sickness As An Educator

I’ve never felt more like I live in a petri dish than this school year.  With all sorts of news articles swirling around the nation about the Flu epidemic and people dying because of the Flu, I stood firm on my long held belief that the Flu shot was worthless…either I was going to get it or not.

I had this belief because the majority of my life I’ve never had the flu, and I also can’t remember getting a flu shot before I had kids (dang my fatherly guilt).  I went through the motions when my kids were little out of family solidarity and because it was “free” through my insurance.  I almost mocked others that seemed to get the flu every year because I never did.  Then I got the flu.

I won’t say it was terrible, the two cases of pneumonia I’ve had were far worse, but there is something about being quarantined off in both your personal and professional life that is somehow shocking.  I didn’t see my kids for almost three days and that was more difficult than I had imagined.  I used my time at home to catch up on some less-than-important media consumption and purging the illness from everything I touched with bleach and lysol.

When I came back to school, the kids were so happy to see me (for the most part).  Subs are necessary, but stressful to both teacher and student.  After that small euphoria was over, I then had to pick up the pieces of a classroom that had lost my expectations of both work and behavior.  Neither side was pleased with the return of the teacher once the welcome back was over.

My hubris and defying the flu is over.  My class’ joy to have me back is over.  Now learning can begin again.

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