Almost every semester, my department asks me if I am ready to return to the classroom (I usually teach just one online class a semester). I have said no every time. Until last fall. This time, it felt like the offer was too good to pass up. A small class, taught at the Sandy extension site, and I could pick my own night. After talking it over with Greg, I approached my mom to see if she could be available to babysit. She graciously said yes, and I let her pick the night. We decided it had to be Thursday, since that was the only night she did not teach violin until 9 p.m.
As the semester got closer, I realized that it would work out best to hire a teenager for Cece. She would stay with "Big Annie" (as opposed to Ellie's friend Annie) while I drove Ellie and Lynnie to violin lessons. Then they would stay with Grandma for group lessons while I went to my class. Grandma would drive the big girls home after lessons, and Annie had Cece asleep in bed by the time they got there. That let Grandma focus on the big girls.
It worked out well. The girls really bonded with Grandma (although Cece never really got excited to see Annie--sorry, Annie!). I had fun teaching again, and the students were great.
But I realized many things with this experiment. It is not my time or season to be teaching outside of the home. Teaching online classes is a pretty sweet deal. I always enjoyed being with the students when I was there, but Thursdays were my least favorite day of the week. I missed my babies. I worried about how long Cece would cry for Annie, even though Annie always insisted it only lasted a minute or two. I worried about the stress of babysitting on my mom, even though she always said she loved it.
So when my department chair asked if I wanted to teach at the Sandy site again in the fall, I said no. It is good to be done with in person teaching. Maybe I will try again in a few years. Maybe I won't. Who knows?
. : my dashboard clock as I turned on the van after my last class : .