Let’s say it right up front. Coronavirus. COVID-19. Market crashes. Unemployment. Recession. All true. Little confidence in our leadership, although, to be fair, we are all feeling our way through something unprecedented in our time.
For me, personally, my school year has been changed. I will be teaching remotely for the rest of this year. To a population that mostly has no internet access. Where I am forbidden to go to them physically (and I totally understand this). My husband is working from home full time. Come to your own conclusions.
So where are the silver linings? I have seen several. Families are spending more time together. Parents are getting to know their children, and vice versa. Prioritizing has taken a front seat. People are feeling kinder towards others.
My children and their families have had many family adventures that they might not have otherwise had. The staying home directives have given opportunities for family bonding that might otherwise have occurred only on weekends and late evenings. Busy parents have reconnected with the childcare and teaching routines.
My daughter’s family went camping. They had to isolate anyway. Two adults, a toddler, and a large dog camped out for a few days in the woods. Several beautiful photos followed, along with stories and memories to last a lifetime.
My son’s mother-in-law has been with them for several days now. My granddaughter has a loving grandmother in her daily life, my daughter-in-law has help and support, and all are riding this out together. Even though Nana is working from where she is, with three adults working from home, Madison has constant care and options.
I am teaching from home, and despite many of my students not having internet access, I have been able to make meaningful connections with some of the ones who do. I am still working on how to reach those who have limited or no access. I have, however, again realized the importance of keeping things basic. Provide what each student needs. The waiver from high-stakes testing for this year has helped. Now I can focus on what my students really need to succeed in learning English and not spend as much time on test preparation which would be memorization and a hope for application. I have another year in which to teach them the English skills to graduate along with their native English-speaking peers.
And toilet paper? Really? We were fortunate to have made a trip to Costco before the proverbial S*&^ hit the fan, so we are currently ok in that area. Also, I had purchased several boxes of tissues for my classroom in light of allergy season right before the schools closed, so we’ve got that going for us. But like everyone else, we are scrabbling for paper towels, hand sanitizer, and sugar. We will be fine. We are a resourceful bunch. My worry, of course, is for those who don’t have food security. Someone who does not have to cull the leftovers from the fridge before grocery shopping. To help with that, we have to continue to support our charities and communities. If we can afford it, let’s order takeout from one of our local businesses.
As has been said countless times, we are all in this together. Love your neighbors. Help where you can. Forgive when you are able. Love at all times. We are living history. Help write the story.