A week ago I was consumed with worry. I was worried about students getting their work completed on time. I was worried about teachers not having what they need to do their best. I was worried about numbers and spreadsheets. I was caught up with the illusive nature of time and how there was never enough to give everyone what they need. Little things took a big precedent in my life.
Then the news came of the COVID-19 school closings. The next thing you know I was cleaning off my desk and packing up all of my materials to be prepared for “until further notice” learning. In my stomach there was a heaviness. There was a somber feeling resonating throughout me. My urgent areas of worry were now trivial stressors in a much larger picture of need.
Instantly anxiety coursed through my veins as I was introduced to a familiar foe, uncontrolled circumstance. Yes, teachers could pool together their lessons and learning ideas, but we are also aware of the extreme amount of care it takes to implement and induce learning. We are aware that parents are being put into a precarious situation. We have often shared the role as parent, but now the parent would have to share the role of teacher. We must care and support our parents in this time of need.
I thought of the vast amount of students that I give love and attention to daily. My heart was breaking that they may go days without seeing a smile in the morning and being told they are loved. I thought of the students who for a prolonged period of time could no longer count on something that was predictable and constant in their lives. I mourned the absence of interactions that occur without the need for screens fearing that kids will now be unleashed to endless hours of gaming and social media. We must care and support our kids in this time of need.
I withdrew and allowed myself to succumb to apathy. Until I was jolted back to life by the humanity around me I had skeptically chosen not to see. I watched my colleagues transform into educational warriors, delivering lessons and virtual assistance all day everyday. I watched friends, family, neighbors, and business owners step up to assist those in need such as medical professionals, first responders, small business owners, and the elderly. Hope was ignited within. The greed and egoic nature of being has been called to reckoning and told, “not now!” We must care and support each other in this time of need.
Small things are where the blessings lie so keep a watchful eye and ear to what is going on around you and be renewed in faith. I have given my worry away, as it does me no good, and starkly asked myself, “How can I help?” We must all do our part to see the beauty in this crisis and act accordingly. Fall back on your gifts and contribute to the collective good. Be reminded that we are in this together and only through kindness and compassion can we all live in a place worth calling home.
Thank you to the beautiful educators I fight alongside for inspiring me to anty up and give everything I have to the betterment of our current reality. I could use my time thinking about all of the things we have lost or may lose OR I could use my calling to help those around me. There may be much discomfort or pain to follow for many in this country. I pledge to do my part and show up for others, so that maybe my light can fight a darkness for others.
A Parent, Educator, and Human Being