“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity..." (Dickens)
A Tale of COVID-19
It may seem the worst of times, yet it has already been a time to witness some of the best in others. This week has been chaotic and not without conflict. I have been amazed at the unbelievable effort that is being poured out by so many to put things in place for our students. As much as we find this concerning, challenging, and for me personally, slightly exhausting, I also have to say that the very things that have challenged me, have also given me joy when I see the sharing, collaboration and growth of others. I have reflected upon the ways that I have grown in just the past several days by participating in six web based meetings, which used two brand new platforms. All of these occurred within the last three days, and I even initiated three of them. We have all likely received a plethora of information related to resources that could be useful in distance learning and others that are geared to support social emotional learning of students. All of this points toward growth. I know others have celebrated their own growth and accomplishments in utilizing new approaches to teaching and learning as well. Kudos!
I have also felt and observed the concern and compassion of people from near and far. A call from my sister, a text from a high school classmate, people questioning me and others about how we are doing. As we journey through this chaos together, we must realize that the unknown will raise anxiety in our children and colleagues alike. It can be tiring. We will tire, colleagues will tire, our students will tire. We will experience anxiety, as will our colleagues and our students. It is extremely important for us to seek out help when we are at an impasse. We must keep an eye out for each other and be present. When so much is going on, it is difficult to be present for everyone, but I am asking that we make that extra effort to ensure no one is without support. Support can be in the form of a text, a call, a 10 minute walk outside, or FaceTime chat. One might even set up a “virtual coffee klatsch or pizza party.”
During this time, we will continue to witness good in others. And though I may find myself tired, I am strengthened by those around me. There have been moments of tears, confusion and laughter too. It seems a time of extreme opposites with the fear of the unknown related to COVID-19 and the resulting upsurge of humanity that is obvious in the people reaching out with a text, or a joke, or a song. I am humbled by the willingness of so many to dig in and get it done! My forever thanks to each and every one of you who have extended a hand, sought out answers and ideas, coordinated with someone new, while keeping your students as your focus!
It is our challenge to continue to Believe in the Goodness in the World.