07 April 2020

Getting Warmer


https://twitter.com/science_goddess/status/188732433686994946

Today's tweet (full list here) is from eight years ago...but is something I could have just as readily tweeted today. We are still a ways away from being able to put a garden in or sleep with the windows open, but it's a start. The longer daylight hours help make things look normal for this time of year, even though they most definitely are not.

As of yesterday, school buildings are closed for the remainder of the year...and there are no promises about reopening on schedule in the fall. "School" is supposed to continue through June, although I think that is a big mistake. I don't think it's respectful of our families, many of whom are struggling with transitions in their work schedules, forced estrangement from relatives, and economic hardships. Learning will continue, regardless of how many packets are sent home or online lessons assigned. Let kids learn about household budgets...cooking a meal...sewing on buttons...planting a garden...or whatever it is that is helpful. It will all be fine.

I am sad, of course, that the year has to end this way. It's not how we would like to leave things. It's not how we would wish to celebrate or move forward. But here it is. Seniors will have unique celebrations. Kindergartners will have to wait another year before they find out what the last day of school really feels like. All those end of year barbecues and golf tournaments will be sweeter in 2021. We will have a long time to anticipate them.

I am also sad that we don't seem to be having the conversations that we could really be having about school and what we want things to look like when we return. How will we manage a space where we may have lost students and staff? How will parent expectations be different after 6 months (or more) of providing instruction themselves? How do we make long term plans, perhaps for the next couple of years, to support all students in getting caught up? I understand all the need to sort out some of the immediate pieces, but those don't seem as critical in the grand scheme of things. We can figure out getting teachers into classrooms or Chromebooks out to families. But it will be a much bigger lift to bring everyone back together.

But since that it is beyond my reach for now, I will enjoy the sun and the opportunity to stretch my legs and breathe. I've waited for this day a long time, too.

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