I know better. I swear I do. Just like reading the comments on a blog post or eating “just one” Dorito, I know it’s a bad idea and I’ll only regret it within minutes. And yet, I can’t stop myself. The minute I see a headline that claims to predict what schools will look like next year, I have to click.

It doesn’t even matter if it relates to my school at all. I read articles about colleges. Preschools. Private schools. Schools in Nova Scotia and Finland. I’m so desperate for any kind of intel about what I’ll be dealing with next year, I just can’t look away.

I keep hoping I’ll click on a miraculous prophecy that makes me feel less anxious, rather than more. So far, no luck.

They’re predicting that schools will open on time and it’ll be business as usual? My God, are they insane and TRYING to kill us all?

Distance learning for the first three months? There’s no way I can possibly begin that way and actually have a productive school year! How will I build relationships and set expectations when kids are coming from such disparate environments? Let alone differentiate lessons for kids I’ve never met!

A combination of staggered schedules and distance learning? I’ll have to teach full-time while the kids attend part-time while making additional plans for their online learning. That’s a job and a half. Not to mention the fact that my own kids are eight and three … if they’re not in school full time, I’m pretty sure I’m not allowed to let the dog babysit.

There is not a prediction that I’d feel good about right now, and even if I found one, it wouldn’t matter.

The fact is, nobody has any idea what the world will look like in two weeks, let alone in August.

But it’s not hopeless. Because while teachers (at least, this teacher) may be bad about falling for clickbait that increases our anxiety, there are some things we’re really good at.

Like adapting to changing conditions and circumstances.

Like building relationships with kids through any and all venues we have.

Like fighting tirelessly (or tiredly) for the needs and rights of our kids, even the ones we haven’t met yet.

We don’t know yet whether we’ll have to fight for their right to be safe and healthy or their right to quality education or both. We don’t know whether we’ll have to fight for the opportunity to work with our students or the right to protect our own sanity.

Whatever happens, it’ll be rocky and imperfect.

We’ll get it wrong before we get it right. And we’ll have the opportunity to demonstrate the grace and flexibility and resilience and creativity we hope to build in our students. So that’s a good thing, right? RIGHT?

Are you done with people trying to predict what schools will look like in the fall? Join us on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE to chat.

Plus, Teachers Share What It Will Take to Make Them Feel Safe Again

Stop Telling Me What School Might Look Like!