You're never too young to experience burnout — Omicron's impact on schools

·3 min read
Florida Times-Union reporter Emily Bloch is launching a newsletter focused on education and youth culture in Jacksonville.
Florida Times-Union reporter Emily Bloch is launching a newsletter focused on education and youth culture in Jacksonville.

Can you believe it? We've (almost) made it through January!

For teachers I've spoken to, every month closer to the end of school year is a welcome step in the right direction. That's because on a local level and nationwide, teacher vacancies coupled with absences from sickness have created a giant hole in available instructors.

Patrick Nolan, a longtime history teacher at Sandalwood High School, has been filling in for math courses at his school. A district communications employee I spoke with was helping with an ESE course. It goes without saying these are not normal times.

I've continued to document these issues on a local level, but this week, USA Today published a broader story, illustrating the environment on a national scale.

If this school year is impacting you or a loved one and you want your story heard, feel free to email me.

Sandalwood observes Holocaust Remembrance Day

Photos from Sandalwood High School's observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which included a presentation and daffodil garden commemoration.
Photos from Sandalwood High School's observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which included a presentation and daffodil garden commemoration.

Speaking of Patrick Nolan at Sandalwood, he was pretty busy last week. The history teacher helped organize a presentation about International Holocaust Remembrance Day at Sandalwood on Thursday. About 200 students attended.

I caught up with Nolan, who explained why it's important for all schools — not just Jewish ones — to teach lessons on the Holocaust.

"The Holocaust has become such an ingrained and integral part of Jewish history," he said. "Jewish people know a lot about the Holocaust and have been exposed in one way or another. It's not news to them or an unusual thing. But, I think it's even more important for people outside of the Jewish community to know about it."

The school is also one of four in Duval County that has an official Daffodil Project Memorial Garden, recognizing the 1.5 million children that were murdered during the Holocaust.

Read the full story here

A local gets Gooped

The Garden Journey is a luxury tarot card deck with botanical designs. Its co-creator, Natalie Soud, lives in Jacksonville.
The Garden Journey is a luxury tarot card deck with botanical designs. Its co-creator, Natalie Soud, lives in Jacksonville.

A Jacksonville designer is being recognized nationally for her latest endeavor.

When Natalie Soud, a local creative director and artist, left a stable job in marketing to pursue a new creative project with her friend, Joanne Yun, the duo didn't know where things would lead.

But less than a year since launching their product, The Garden Journey — a luxury tarot deck with botanical artwork and hand-marbled textures — has been recognized by Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand, Goop.

Read more about Soud and The Garden Journey here

ICYMI

🏫 Florida could ban lessons about discrimination that make white students feel 'discomfort'

⭐. I'm a Star Foundation teens want more focus on mental health issues facing students

💪. Generation WOW needs mentors to help promote ‘positive, possible’ for young girls (News4Jax)

Coming up next

Olive Wright, 10, left, talks with Karlie McClanathan, 13, at a Lady Skate Day meetup in Avondale last week.
Olive Wright, 10, left, talks with Karlie McClanathan, 13, at a Lady Skate Day meetup in Avondale last week.

Stay tuned for my feature on Lady Skate Day — a collective teaching underrepresented groups including girls, women, femme, trans and the BIPOC community how to skateboard. They have a fundraiser taking place this Wednesday at Ruby Beach Brewing Co. downtown you won't want to miss! You can keep up with my latest work by bookmarking my author page.

Separately, I'm looking to speak with parents of elementary-school-aged students who are concerned about the 'Don't Say Gay' bill. If you have thoughts, please email me!

Thanks for following along. Until next time!

—Emily Bloch, youth culture and education reporter

Emily Bloch is an education reporter for The Florida Times-Union. Follow her on Twitter or email her. Sign up for her newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: You're never too young to experience burnout — Omicron's impact on schools

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting