What this year has taught me by Jennifer Mitchell

A year ago when it felt like the world was turned upside down, I went from being a classroom teacher one week, to designing and posting lessons for students to access virtually the next. I was worried about my students falling behind and not having the support they needed to be successful learners. I wrote letters to my students and did my best to communicate, but it felt very disconnected to say the least.

This past fall we were one of the first districts in the Kansas City area to open our school for in-person learning. It made me realize how important it is to be face to face with kids to make connections. I have felt very grateful this year to be back doing what I love in the setting that I feel I am most successful. In the future, I won’t take being able to teach from the traditional classroom setting for granted.  

During the first few months of quarantine I was lucky to spend time at home with my family.  Things didn’t work out the way they had intended, being sent back from college, and having the end of a senior year come to an abrupt halt.  But I can say that we were all blessed to be able to spend time together, and thankful no one got sick.  Though it was odd to be spending more time at home, it provided me the opportunity to try some new hobbies.  My daughter and I decided to try our hand at needle point (and had a great time learning it together).  This is something we would have never taken the time to do in the past, as there would have been more pressing things that needed to be “done.” I have such gratitude that 2020 afforded me that extra time to spend with my family.  

It’s been hard not being able to be with extended family and celebrate holidays and occasions 

as normal.  Once we are able to safely be with each other I will cherish those moments more than I did in the past.  Even though 2020 was difficult in ways, it really helped me prioritize family.


  1. Since I was the recipient of the giraffe, and an original creation from Jade, I am so glad you two discovered a new craft/hobby.
    Your ending quote, along with your earlier statements about school and family, are great things to ponder. Thanks

  2. Oh, man, there's something about needlework that's so soothing. But it's true--we won't see things the same again, will we?


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