As school districts across the country embark on a new, uncharted journey, each of us must embrace the need for grace. It is amazing how grace – courteous goodwill – changes our perspective.
The COVID-19 Crisis has put all of us, from the most discipline to the hyperemotional, on edge. Our lives have been disrupted in unimaginable ways. Yesterday’s routine, daily activities are only memories. A friendly hug when we see an old friend, a firm handshake with a new acquaintance, or simply grabbing a cup of coffee with a colleague are remembrances from a seemingly different era.
For schools, small reading groups on the carpet, a student section cheering at a football game, or the joyful noise from a packed lunchroom will be eerily missing from the school experience.
As we prepare for the unknown, as we respond to rapidly evolving information about this virus, uncertainty and change will be part of our school life. No one week will be like the next; schedules, bus times, and instructional tools will be in a continuous flux state. School officials will do their best; we will communicate what we know when we know it.
Keeping our students safe, keeping them in school is going to require flexibility and adaptability. For families that depend on regular childcare, this year is going to be stressful and exhausting. A single class or a school building could be placed into eLearning, quarantined, with short notice. Games may be suddenly canceled for students, and teachers may need to shift assignments due to changing learning modalities.
We must respond to each challenge with compassion and empathy. A school district’s changes are not from lack of planning or communication; everyone is doing their best during an unprecedented global pandemic. Moreover, on our end, our teachers and staff will give our students and parents the same grace – the same courteous goodwill.
We are all seemingly feel lost as we respond to this time’s events, but we will all be found as we work together.