The School Is Not Closed

Posted by Christy Steele on

March 13:

Shelly and I, along with another teacher, stayed late after school. It was a Friday. We were in the gym decorating for the next week's book camp. The eager participants in the upcoming Dr. Seuss Book Camp were signed up. The supplies were bought and ready. As we finished the decorations, we started getting messages that the President had declared a pandemic in our nation. We called in the forces in our families.  Let's divide and conquer. Hit the stores on our way home...just in case. What if we're out of school for a couple of weeks? That's "worst case scenario”. We will replace the perishable supplies. Book camp will be held when we return. We left there with every expectation that we would see our students soon. By the time we left there, there was a shortage on toilet paper, milk, and other essentials. There was mounting uncertainty. We watched, along with the nation, as the following days unfolded. The moment came, when we got the word. School would not resume until April. There was an urgency among teachers and administrators everywhere to regroup. How can we teach the children? How can we help meet their needs? How would we help the parents with this transition? How much is too much work to send home? Some parents want more. Some beg for less. You bend your knees. You broaden your shoulders. You struggle to balance under the weight. Then the next wave of news: "The schools are closed!" "The schools are closed!" Friends, hear this: the schools did not close. The buildings closed. The teachers are still planning, preparing, instructing, grading, and supporting. We are still monitoring and adjusting. We are still conducting online meetings. School is still in session. It looks differently now. The teachers' "office hours" are longer now than ever. Why? Partly because parents have lost track of time. They are contacting the teachers at all hours. Why are the teachers responding? Because we know some of these parents are still going to work everyday. The only time they have to communicate with the teacher is after typical school hours. We are part of the village. We are all doing the best we can.  So many things changed in what felt like a moment, but the schools are not closed. I've thought about this so much over the past weeks. Please see us. We are still here championing for our students. 


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