We are officially moving to the Washington, DC area!
John and I have barely left our apartment since March so we really didn’t want to move this year. A few days before we put ourselves on lockdown, we were supposed to be heading on a long road trip to celebrate John’s birthday and see my family in Charlotte, DC, and Baltimore. We decided to cancel last minute because it felt too risky to be going anywhere on March 12th. We spent the next five months inside with no plans to travel in the near future due to the pandemic.
However, our governor in Florida decided to put forth a mandate to force teachers back into the classroom without any real plans or precautions. He wasn’t concerned with how it should happen, when it should happen, or what would be the most safe for students, teachers, and staff. He just wanted schools open by any means necessary. John has put up with a lot of terrible things while teaching in Florida, including being completely underfunded, districts not giving raises for years on end because of funding, the constant threat of school shootings, and lack of proper resources. But this is where I was DONE.
I asked John to start applying for jobs immediately in counties all over the country that had safer back to school plans. I was really worried that school districts with great back to school plans might not have a lot of openings (and they don’t to be honest) but John had six interviews and nailed all of them. After receiving multiple offers he decided to take an offer at a school in Fairfax County that specializes in working with ESOL students (English as a second language) since he has a lot of extra certifications in ESOL and loves working with in a diverse setting.
Fairfax County is starting the school year completely virtually and will continue to be virtual for at least the first nine weeks of school. That may be extended to the entire school year. If it’s not extended, they have an excellent plan in place for reopening that includes bringing back students in waves starting with students with high needs. They also plan to have students come to school for around 2 1/2 hours at a time, only having a small group of students in one class at a time, and being sent home with meals instead of eating them at the school. I could go on and on with the preparation they are doing but I’ll just say that Betsy DeVos hates them which is the best reassurance I can receive.
Right now we are still wrapping our heads around the fact that we are going to move away from the only state we have ever lived in during a pandemic, we can’t have the party we envisioned in our heads to say goodbye to all of our amazing friends, and we are probably going to have to drive in snow at some point.
But the important thing is that John will be in a safe work environment and already feels so appreciated and cared for by his new district.
I’m looking forward to our next chapter and I can’t wait to show my friends around DC when they eventually visit!