12 March 2020

Screw Your Courage

https://twitter.com/science_goddess/status/1105579468066713600
This tweet is only a year old (full list of tweets from this date here), but feels like something I would have said today.

Last year, I watched my district fall completely apart, bit by bit. In 30 years in education, it was—by far—the worst thing I have ever experienced. Just when you thought we'd hit bottom, there would be some new hole in the floor. I did, indeed, steel magnolia the shit out of it all and survived the school year.

Only to get to this one.

Some things are better...some things are most definitely not.

Let's add in living in Washington State while a global pandemic is in the making. Everything looks normal. People are going to work and school. Businesses and restaurants are open. Spring flowers are gorgeous. But something feels off. Today, I watched the governor close schools in nearby counties for six weeks. State testing is canceled for the year. I do not know anyone who is sick, and yet I know that eventually, many people I know will be ill...and I probably will be, too. Some will be hospitalized...and a few will die. But right now, you'd never know it by the looks of things.

I suspect our district will close, too. Maybe not in the next few couple of days, but I would guess that by the end of next week, the path forward will be clear. I may well be wrong, but I would not be surprised for smaller districts to watch these big dogs for a week while they figure out the basics. How do you feed kids? Do your 12-month employees have to show up to the office...or are they allowed to telecommute...or is the district reduced to just "essential" staff? What happens to those processes and timelines that are currently open? Do we cancel meetings...or just postpone them?

It's all new territory, and I'm oh so tired of having to be brave after the past 18 months. Lady MacBeth might have advised me to screw my courage to the sticking point, but right now, I just feel like saying "Screw it."

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