For more than two decades, Maria Rosales has shaped young minds in the classroom. She went virtual this spring, teaching her Northwest ISD pre-K students remotely during the pandemic.
Rosales lives in Haslet with her husband Al, a University Park police officer, and their two children: Marisol, 14, and Marcos, 9, who has Down syndrome. In addition to teaching, Rosales is staying on top of Marcos’ IEP sessions and online karate classes.
6AM Al turns off the house alarm and heads out for his morning commute to Dallas.
6:45AM Since we’re in remote learning and there’s no “morning rush” in our house, things are more relaxed. Now, mornings are for me. I started drinking coffee again because I need an extra boost to get going. I have never been a morning person.
7AM Quick shower. My hair and skin have never looked so good. I rarely put full make-up on anymore. I plan the day and write my daily gratitude.
7:30AM Workout time. I’m not a fitness guru, but I’m trying out all those Pinterest routines I’ve pinned. I make my infused water—another Pinterest obsession.
8AM I am so grateful to work and live in the best community in Fort Worth. I check emails, look at students’ uploaded work and send Zoom invitations for this week’s Fun Friday meeting.
8:30AM Marcos strolls in my room, still sleepy. He snuggles in my bed. I have to admit, this is my favorite part of the day. He’s been attending public school since he was 3 years old. I had to put him on a bus at the time, which broke my heart every morning. Since kindergarten, he’s attended school with me, which means getting up extra early because I’m a teacher. These days, I let him sleep in and don’t rush him.
9AM Time to log in to Marcos’ third grade class meeting. He loves seeing his friends and teachers. They talk about the week’s activities and play a game, then the kids share and talk.
9:30AM Since I have Marcos’ full attention, I work on a quick IEP session with him. We practice identifying letters and numbers. I take advantage of whatever time I can get with him.
10AM Marisol appears from her “cave.” Again, being a teacher’s kid, she also had to be at school earlier than most. So I don’t mind her sleeping in. At the beginning of remote learning, I worked with her on how to schedule her day and plan her week. Once she had a routine, she took off. I don’t have to keep tabs on her because she does what she needs to and turns in her assignments online. Our district already provides Chromebooks to all middle and high school students. What a blessing!
11AM Marcos has earned 30 minutes of iPad time. He sings songs and plays games on his favorite app. Marisol is busy with schoolwork. I go back to check emails and start small group videos to send out to my students.
12PM I revamp leftovers for lunch. Since we have been quarantining, I have been brushing up my culinary skills with home–cooked meals each night.
1PM Back to Marcos. We log into the district’s online reading support site. He is not interested in this activity, but I try. He acts like he’s sleepy and pretends to go to bed, shouting “No!” from his room. I go on and on about how much fun I’m having. Halfway through the lesson, he joins me.
2 PM I force my daughter to go outside with Marcos. He loves to play ball and recently found YouTube videos of past NFL games. So now he acts like he is playing football, and it just makes me smile!
2:30PM While the kids are outside, I go back to check emails and call families to check in on how they are doing. I love learning and have been researching various education workshops and motivational training programs.
3PM The kids come inside, ready for a snack. I am ready for a brain break. Marcos pulls me into his room and we “play.” (I put toys away, but he thinks we are playing.) We practice counting toys, and he helps arrange and sort clothes and shoes. I call this his “life skills” time.
4PM We log into recorded classes from Marcos’ karate school. I do the best I can and learn some new moves with him. Even though we are at home, Marcos insists on wearing his full karate uniform.
5PM We go back to free time. Marisol calls a friend or paints. Marcos watches Elmo’s Playdate. If you haven’t watched this, it is the cutest show. We have it on replay.
6PM Daddy is home! My husband arrives and washes up before he greets us. He has been very diligent since all of this has started; he wears a mask and gloves, and he distances at work. Hugs and kisses. I catch my Zumba class on Zoom.
7PM My husband plays with the kids while I start dinner. We eat and chat about our day.
8PM We work on our latest puzzle as a family, and Marcos plays catch with balloons. Who would have known that a balloon could create an hour or so of fun? We play until he gets tired.
9PM Kids start getting ready for bed. Baths, brushing teeth and picking out bedtime books. Finally, kisses goodnight.
10PM My husband and I catch up on world news and finish adult conversations. I read a bit in bed and scribble an idea for my dream novel. Marcos gets up a few times and turns on the lights. We take turns tucking him back in bed, and finally he goes to sleep. Another day down in this new life we have. Stay home and healthy!
What she’s reading Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
Favorite indulgence Membership to a massage/facial spa
Yearly destination Pensacola, Florida
Favorite movie Singin’ in the Rain
Restaurant she frequents with her family Bird Café (Editor’s note: Bird Café recently closed permanently as a result of the pandemic.)
Best purchase ever iRobot Roomba vacuum
No. 1 item on her bucket list Travel to Ireland
Words she lives by “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” —Special Olympics athlete oath
Workout she manages to squeeze in Zumba
Biggest pet peeve People not greeting each other
What she does when life gets stressful Laugh
She wishes she had more time to Sleep
Ongoing project My first novel
Greatest fear Getting a phone call from the police chief
If she had to change careers, she’d be an Archaeologist
Favorite thing about her community Close enough to the city but far enough away for country life
Photo courtesy of J. Gamez Photography.