We Are All Doing the Best With What we Have and Where We Are.

I got pretty angry yesterday.
It was after I got sad.
Which was after I had spent ten hours in front of my computer working on answering emails, sending out remind messages, responding to seesaw work my kindergarten students submitted and making little voice recordings for each child on every piece of work, talking on the phone to colleagues because I can’t just walk over to their rooms and ask questions, texting all day about what comes next in our plans which we are working so hard to make simple yet challenging and equal for all, and didn’t eat lunch again because I realized I hadnt eaten at 3 and by then it was too close to dinner, while also occasionally calling out, “Are you kids still working?”
I took a “break” at six thirty and went to check on my three children who I haven’t sat with or checked on since last Monday when we were told to come up with something in two days time to give to students, and haven’t stopped working since.
Quinn is ok, but misses social interaction with friends. Maddie is frustrated, because she loves school and challenges and is now doing work all day long with no clue how her AP modified tests will count, if she will even take regents, and no matter how hard she works on assignments, her grade may just end up as a P for pass.
Then? I checked on Morgan. I sat on her bed, we talked, and I remarked her hair is getting long. That’s when she showed me.
She has another bald spot. Her alopecia is back.
I asked why she didn’t tell me, and she said I’ve been so stressed with work she didn’t want to get me upset.
Not I was so stressed because of the cancer…. but freaking work.
Then we ate dinner, and my kindergarten team continued our communications and worked on something to cheer up the students to send to them each day for the next few days. Then I cried on the couch and my colleagues said they’ve been tearing up too.
This is after seeing all over Facebook parents who complained that their kids had no work for two weeks, and now complained their kids have work. Some districts told teachers exactly what to do, and some said just do something and do it fast. Some districts have communities that are vocal about supporting teachers, and some have people posting to email the BOE and Superintendent if you don’t hear from your child’s teacher.
During a pandemic.
How about, email your child’s teacher and check in? If you don’t hear from them, email the principal? If you don’t hear from the principal, then email the Superintendent?
Even better, if your child’s teacher has been staying in contact during a PANDEMIC, go ahead and email the BOE and Superintendent and say how thankful you are that in this unprecedented time, this person is still taking care of your child.
I have several colleagues who have lost their parents during the past two weeks. People I know and love. They are STILL working through their grief. In normal times they would have taken off to process this huge loss in their life. Instead? They are trying to get through their pain and learn a whole new way of teaching.
I dont understand how people can point fingers during a worldwide crisis, and still try to make teachers look like the bad guys?
My children’s teachers have been communicating with them. My middle schooler and high schooler have been self sufficient. Quinn’s teachers have all been fantastic. They are all riverhead teachers. They have all been fantastic. There is no one else I would want to work with my children right now.
Yes, there are a ton of sign ins and codes and platforms. If you think signing in to them is hard and a pain, try figuring out how to retrieve everyone’s log in codes and passwords and then explain it in English and Spanish and try to give step by step directions for virtual log in to families whose children are FIVE. I even printed them all out, cut them out, wrote alternate codes, taped them to paper, took pictures of each one and texted them individually to each family.
For fun, let’s add side effects from immunotherapy, and still shaky from having the rigors attack during infusion the day before and being afraid you were dying alone.
So please:..
Everyone is stressed.
It’s hitting everyone that this is going to be longer than anyone wants.
Everyone is trying their best, and sometimes people who point fingers should instead put their hands together and clap for the very people they are trying to attack. Praise does so much more for people than pointing fingers.
I went to bed feeling exhausted, and a failure as a mom and a teacher in this town.
I got another email at ten o’clock or so from my principals. I was almost afraid to look.
it was a picture of a handwritten card.
Thanking us so beautifully for all we did, and simply stating they “see” us, even though we aren’t in the same space. It said a lot more, and I cried again.
We are going to get through this.
It will be easier if we take deep breaths, stop when you are overwhelmed and remember to live even when life seemed to have come to a stop.
If you are overwhelmed or your child is overwhelmed, email your teachers instead of complaining on social media. Social media won’t solve your problem, but the person you email and have communication with probably can. No one wants this.
So let’s work together to try and do whatever we can and whatever we are able for ourselves and our children.
Today is a new day.
Let’s try again.
In Jesus’s name, amen.



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