Two weeks ago (March 9), I got home late from a staff meeting at one of my schools thinking about next steps with that staff in the coming weeks. I woke up the next morning and went to work at my other school as usual. At 2pm that Tuesday, we got an email that the following Monday would be a teacher workday for us to prepare for a possible extended school closure related to COVID-19. The rest of that week was a blur for me, being a part of both schools’ leadership teams trying to prepare, but all of us expected to be in through the week. We went home on Thursday fully expecting to be at work on Friday the 13th. So much changed that night and over the next week. We still held out hope that we might be able to come back – mid April? Early May? Surely we’d get to see our colleagues and kids again? Schools had limited hours today for staff members to retrieve essential items (laptop chargers, books, half eaten bags of chips left behind). So many photos like this popped up in my TL after the Governor announced that Virginia schools would remain closed for the remainder of the year as learning was going to be going virtual:
Hearing those words at 2pm today wasn’t unexpected but it didn’t lessen the shock or grief so many of us are feeling about the loss of this school year and how it came about. I give the leaders of FCPS so much credit for trying to do this the right way – calling a teacher work day early to give families and schools time to prepare – and then, because these are literally unprecedented times and no one can really be sure of the best long term decision, having to completely shift gears. I do believe that the leaders most directly in charge of my life are doing the best they can with the information available, always keeping the safety and welfare of those in their charge at the forefront (my beliefs do not extend all the way to the top where your worth is completely based on your bank account).
We still had about three months of school left. My heart breaks for those who won’t get to experience various rites of passage they were expecting this spring. My heart breaks for the athletes who won’t get to finish what they started….for the teachers who weren’t going to be returning to their schools next year and may not ever see their students again. So much breaking.
I know we’ll get through this. I know we’ll get through this because we have to and because I am stubborn AF. It’s one of my most challenging character traits but also the one of which I am most proud. I might initially cry but then I put my game face on and get to work.
We can do hard things. First the pain, then the rising. Be still and know. (if y’all know Glennon, y’all know).