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A Tournament of Teachers: What We DO NOT Miss About Pre-COVID Teaching

Last year’s big college basketball tournament shut down unexpectedly thanks to COVID-19. Little did we know that this was just the first of many changes coming to our world—and education in particular. A year later, case numbers are down, vaccines are making their way around the world, and college basketball is back on—all hopeful signs that we’re on the road to recovery.

To celebrate, Advancement Courses is hosting our own bracket challenge! But instead of basketball games, we’re doing a face-off between all the things teachers miss (or don’t miss) about teaching pre-COVID-19.

From March 12 to 21, you can submit your own bracket predicting the winners. Then, from March 22 to 31, you can vote on the items you think should advance to the next round.

Winners of the bracket challenge will be announced on April 1. Here’s what you could win:

1st Place: $1,000 Amazon gift card

2nd Place: $500 Amazon gift card

3rd Place: $100 Amazon gift card (5 entrants will win this prize)

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates on the bracket competition and how to enter!

Here’s what we DON’T miss about teaching pre-COVID:

So what do you think teachers miss most about pre-COVID teaching? Submit your predictions today for a chance to win. And don’t forget to check out the competitors for what teachers DON’T miss.

1. Wearing real clothes

As cute as your professional clothes are, you wouldn’t mind if sweatpants became acceptable dress code.

2. Holding your bladder all day

For some reason, you haven’t felt the need to clock how many seconds it takes to run from your home teaching setup to your bathroom like you have from your classroom to the bathroom down the hall.

3. Lunch duty

Your favorite classroom management strategies often feel woefully inadequate when you’re crowd-controlling a third of the school at once.

4. Bus duty

Herding students can be like herding cats. Throw a dozen big yellow buses into the mix, and you’re looking at an exhausting end to an exhausting day.

5. Students borrowing your good supplies

How many of you became a teacher at least in part because you never got over your love of school supplies? You have to admit, it’s nice to know that at your home office, your favorite pen and stapler will always be where you left them.

6. Students recognizing you at the grocery store

Yeah, masks are helpful for containing potentially contagious droplets and all that jazz. But for teachers, they provide the added benefit of letting you shop incognito without your students gaping at you like you’re the subject of a Wild Kingdom documentary.

7. Finding gum under a desk

You don’t even allow gum chewing during class. Seriously, how do you keep finding it under students’ desks?

8. Hearing loud farting or burping in class

You want to laugh. Maybe you do sometimes. Either way, it’s one of the most noxious—er, obnoxious—things that can disrupt your lesson flow.

9. Needing a Pinterest-perfect classroom

You’ve spent so much time perfecting the stretch of wall in front of your webcam that you’ve almost forgotten the amount of effort that goes into making a whole room presentable.

10. Projects that involve glitter

In the words of the great Demetri Martin, “The thing about glitter is if you get it on you, be prepared to have it on you forever. Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies.”

11. Fire drills derailing your lesson

Yes, fire drills are essential. But why can’t they ever happen during your planning period?

12. Broken air conditioners

If you’re already sweating on your 7 a.m. drive to work, it’s safe to assume this will be the day the school’s AC goes out (again).

13. Faculty meetings that could have been an e-mail

Your colleagues are great and everything. But so is getting home an hour earlier.

14. Angry parents showing up unannounced in your classroom

Teaching is like being onstage for eight hours a day. Hecklers are inevitable, but that still doesn’t make it fun when they show up (inevitably on a bad hair day).

15. Running out the door at 6 a.m.

Love or hate distance learning, you can’t deny that the commute from your bed to your laptop isn’t too bad.

16. Getting stuck in traffic after work

Traffic is annoying for everyone, but let’s be real: You’ve been working with kids all day. You have no more patience to give.

So what do you think teachers miss least about pre-COVID teaching? Submit your predictions today for a chance to win. And don’t forget to check out the competitors for what teachers DO miss.

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