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If Only My 2020 Self Had Known

December 30, 2020 by Janessa Fletcher

2020 has been the year that has just kept on giving. 😭 As we get ready to ring in a new year ~ Yay for 2021, I think back to this time last year. There are so many things I think “If Only My 2020 Self Had Known…” Here are some quotes from teacher colleagues in our group that they wish their 2020 Selves Had Known. #4 is by far the biggest one!

Information #1 — My Life Would Be Ruled by Technology

I can’t tell you how my laptop, cell phone, and printer have become my best friends. If one of them crashes, or I lose internet connection for a while, it is the end of the world… AGH!

“Let me share my screen.”

“Sure we can do a telehealth appointment.”

“Hello ….. are you there ?!?! Hello ?!???”

“You’re glitchy.”

“I have to install Tik Tok.”

“I’ll send you an invite for the zoom/ google meets meeting.”

“Working from home…”

“Where is the slide deck?”


#2 — I’d Really Want to Leave my House

Usually, I consider myself a homebody and look forward to the days when we don’t have dance competitions, baseball tournaments, etc. But this year, I look forward to leaving my house. This is something I never thought I would experience…

“I’m in lockdown.”

“These are unprecedented times.”

“Stay home on your couch. Be a Hero.”


“No!… I’m sick of puzzles! No more puzzles!”


#3 — Masks Would Become my New Accessory

I have a mask for every occasion… holidays, to match outfits, fun characters, you name it! Instead of sending me links for cute pairs of shoes or purses, my friends send me new fabrics that they found to make masks with.

“Cover your nose.”

“Mask up.”

“Have you got your mask?”

“For Christmas, I got you awesome masks.”

“Put your mask on before going into the store.”

“N95 mask.”

“Ugh. My face shield keeps fogging up” “If everything keeps fogging up like this I’m switching to contacts no matter how much I hate them.”

“Maskne breakout.”


Information #4 — I Can’t See My Family or Friends

If only my 2020 self had known that January would be the last time this year I got to spend with my whole family, I would have cherished that time a little more. All of this has really put into perspective to appreciate the little moments and the time that you get to spend with loved ones, as it may be the last time for a very long time.

“No social gatherings.”

“Being with your family at a party is illegal.”

“No Thanksgiving this year.”

“Parties are not allowed, isolate yourself.”

“I’m being a good citizen by not traveling for the holidays.”

“Dad, I will not visit you because I love you.”


#5 — Getting Dressed Everyday Would Be Optional

My blouses and dress slacks have been replaced with t-shirts and yoga pants. I also find my wardrobe representative of a mullet (all business up top and who knows what on the bottom.) LOL


“Please put on pants before you come to class!”

“I’m virtually teaching from home.”

“Please don’t wear pajamas to class.”


#6 — I Would Have Stocked Up on Paper Products

If my 2020 self had only known that there would be weeks when you wouldn’t be able to find paper products in stores, I would have laughed. It is incredible that this occurred at the beginning of this pandemic!

“We’re out of toilet paper. Use paper towels.”

“Where can I find toilet paper?”

“Yes, it’s ok if you want to put toilet paper on your Christmas wishlist.”

“You mean to tell me there are no paper towels, toilet paper, Kleenex, napkins, or any kind of cleaning products in this huge store?”

“Heard they got toilet paper and clorox wipes in a Costco. I’ll get in line at 6 tomorrow morning so I can get a supply before they run out.”

“Where have you been? I’ve been to 6 stores trying to find toilet paper!”

“I hit the jackpot at Walmart!! Toilet paper and Lysol!! 🤩🤩🤩”


Information #7 — I’d Be Teaching to Faces on a Computer

This has probably been the hardest of all. I know in my soul that in-person learning is what is best for children, yet they have spend almost an entire school year on the computer, learning virtually. It breaks my heart on a daily basis for both my students and my own children.

“Mute yourself please.”

“I need your cameras on and your dogs away.” 😳😂

“Turn on your camera.”

“Please don’t take your computer in the bathroom.”

“Do you have your laptop, is it charged, do you have your homework or did you turn it in online, do you have your mask?”

“Don’t forget to click “turn in”.

“Hold it up closer in the camera. Over to the left. Over a little bit more. K. Leave it right there so I can check it.”

“You froze.. you froze.”

“Raise your digital hand.”

“Oh Lord, I forgot to record class today.”

“I used to joke about working from home because as a teacher that wasn’t a thing. Now it has become a reality.”


#8 — I Need a Dictionary for All of the New Teaching Lingo

Education has always had its own set of acronyms and phrases that only we can understand. This “virtual learning” thing has taken on a whole new set of words and phrases we’ve had to master. “Breakout Rooms”, “Chat”, “Mute Yourself”, etc. have become our new educational phrases.

“Hybrid schedule.”

“Synchronous / asynchronous instruction😒”

“Remote learning.”

“I’m going to put you in a breakout room and I will join you in a second.”

“I see your hand. Go ahead and unmute yourself.”

“Put it in the chat…..”

“Is my screen showing?”

“Today is going to be an asynchronous day of learning for students.”

“Remote learning!”


#9 — I Get to Move Around 6 Feet at a Time

It is a game I play with my kids when we go to a store and are checking out in line. We get to move up a circle each time someone ahead of us checks out.

“6 feet apart!”

“Social Distancing”

“I can’t hug you, but here’s an air hug or elbow bump.”


Information #10 — I NEED Cleaning Products

Just like paper products, cleaning and sanitizing products rapidly disappeared from stores when the pandemic hit. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I could finally buy hand soap, sanitizer, and cleaning sprays and wipes.

“I can’t find any Clorox! $15 for Lysol!”

“Can you buy some hand sanitizer?”

“I need to restock my car hand sanitizer.”

“Guess what I found at Target?! CLOROX WIPES!! And there wasn’t even a limit!!”

“Go wash your hands for at least 20 seconds!”

“I found one container of Lysol spray for only $64 on amazon! Should I get 2?”

“I found actual Lysol spray today!”


#11 — In-Person School Is Very Different

For those of us who were able to return to school this past fall, it is definitely not the brick and mortar we remember. Students no longer sit at “team tables”, we can’t share materials, we are constantly washing and sanitizing our hands. Everything about school looks different.

“Is so-and-so on quarantine or just absent?”

“You’re not allowed to play tag – no touching. 😌”

“Do we have an updated list of quarantined kiddos?”

“Thank you for offering to share your glue, but we are not allowed to share right now.”

“If you are done eating, put your mask back on.”

“Only 4 to a lunch table.”

“I have to follow protocol.”

“Let me put on latex gloves before touching your keyboard.”

“I’m so sorry you have a running nose. You’ll have to be out of school for 10 days.”


#12 — I’d Be Living the Movie “Outbreak”…

I have always been a clean person, washing my hands when I get home, making sure to cover my cough and sneeze, and seeing the doctor when I felt ill. But I have never felt fearful for myself and my loved ones when it came to illness. This year, I will admit, there were days that I was nervous to leave my home and be around people, which is truly sad…

“Boys and girls just bc someone sneezes does not mean they have “the rona”.”

“Omg! I touched my face!”

“Do we need to do contact tracing?”

“Can I check your temperature?” to perfect strangers.”

“Wait, did you travel outside of (your state) recently? Sorry, you can’t come to work for 14 days.”

“COVID 19.”

“We are in a pandemic!”

“I’m an essential worker.”

“Did you get the rapid test or the deep one?”

“Thank goodness it’s just the stomach virus.”

“Wash your hands 500x a day.”

“Flatten the curve.”


Information #13 — The Hours I Would Spend in Drive-Thrus

I feel like my car has become my “home away from home”. My family has done drive-thru school supply pick-ups, birthday shout-outs, and of course grabbing food and drinks. I would never have thought that this much time would be spent doing “drive-thru” tasks.

“Can’t wait to see everyone at our drive-thru pick up!”

“I’m sorry grandma but we can’t eat in the restaurant because if we do we have to take our masks down.”

“Outside dining and curbside pick up only.”

“Virtual birthday party.”

“Do you all have non-contact delivery?”

“Did you start your car this week?”


#14 — Grocery Shopping Takes on a Whole New Meaning

I have never been a fan of grocery shopping. It is one chore that I don’t look forward to doing each week. Now when I go, I feel like I’m driving on a road, as there are one-way aisles and arrows I constantly have to look for. And this chore I dislike has become worse when I have to come home and spend 30+ minutes wiping down my food from the store.

“Don’t forget to wash the box of cereal.”

“Coin shortage.”

“At-Risk early-bird shopping.”

“Let me just sanitize the vegetables before you put them away.”

“First I forgot my mask, then I went the wrong way down the aisle in the store, and then the store didn’t have any toilet paper and the guy behind me in line was standing too close.”

“Ugh, my food tastes like hand sanitizer.”

“Honey, did you sanitize all of the groceries that were just delivered?”

“Did you disinfect the cookie package yet?”

“Ugh. I’m going the wrong way down this aisle.”


#15 — I Will Never Look at a Corona the Same Way Again

Who else feels this way? LOL, It always makes me wonder where they came up with the name “coronavirus”… But, for me, it has definitely changed the way I look at this beverage.

“Being positive is no longer a good thing!”

“She caught the vid.”

“The fact that corona is now a bad thing. I used to only have a corona during the good times. 🤣”

“What is a coronavirus?”

Written by: Janessa Fletcher

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