The exhaustion I'm feeling may spring from the miles I hiked over the weekend or the mowing I did last evening or the Covid nightmares that keep interrupting my sleep (Put your masks on, people!), but at least I showed up in class with a lesson plan and some great discussion questions and even a little bit of group work.
My students this morning barely showed up. Some offered excuses for needing to attend via Zoom (okay, I don't want you throwing up in the classroom, whatever) but the ones who were present in the room--well, there's not enough caffeine in the universe to supply the alertness missing from my classes this morning.
What have my students been doing to wear themselves out all weekend? Probably homework and projects and papers. That's what I choose to believe. We have made it to the final week of classes so we ought to be jumping up and down on our desks and cheering, but their eyes are barely open and their heads hang low.
A colleague posted last week on Facebook about how exhausted everyone is, and a helpful respondent suggested that she should give the students a pep-talk every day. As if we're not doing that anyway. As if a pep talk could restore everything we've lost in this pandemic-teaching year. As if any of us have a single scintilla of energy left for another stinking pep-talk delivered to students who didn't listen to the last one.
But here we are! Lesson plans in hand, discussion questions at the ready, group work all queued up. One more week! We can do this! And if we can't, we're going to do it anyway!