I think it was last February (but it could have been late January), at the end of a board of education meeting, the board members started asking my superintendent what he thought might happen regarding this new thing called the Corona Virus (we weren’t calling it COVID yet). Though I can’t recall which month this conversation happened, I do remember thinking, “Come on! There is no way that schools will be shut down!”
By early March 2020, there was a buzz about social distancing requirements and limits on the number of people who were able to be in public spaces at one time. Then, what felt like rumors started flying about schools needing to close for maybe two weeks. We gathered teachers and told them to start to prepare plans for an extended spring break possibility. On Sunday, March 15th, 2020, all the administrators were called to campus so we could meet and discuss the impending closure starting that week—how would teachers be able to prepare packets of work, how would the work be distributed, what would be needed to provide kids K-12 with devices to take home, etc. When I arrived to that meeting we were all given the option of grabbing a mask to wear and I remember thinking, “Who wears masks?”
As you know already, a temporary closure turned into a full shut-down. Though we all did the best we could, I don’t know that anyone could have predicted what came to pass. I certainly never dreamt that we would be marking the anniversary of March 16th in this way—with continued closures, social distancing, masks, vaccines, and over half a million deaths in the US alone.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again, if I have learned nothing from this experience, let me learn that there are really only two things that really matter. One is our health and the other is our relationships with others. I feel so blessed that my family has maintained their health throughout this ordeal and I also feel so grateful for my relationships. It is with a sincere heart that I hope you can say the same.
My prayer is that a year from now we will be at (or at least much closer to) the end of this unbelievable experience. In the meantime, I wonder what stands out to you as you think back on this past year and/or what are you looking forward to once this is behind us?
P.S. This week's Catch comes from Barbara Bray who is a coach, consultant, writer, speaker, disruptor, and the author of her most recent book, Define Your WHY. Barbara hosts the Rethinking Learning Podcast where she has awesome conversations with inspirational thought leaders and is the co-host of the #rethink_learning Twitter chat. You can follow Barbara on Twitter at @bbray27 and find more information on her website.
Barbara caught Hedreich Nichols, a curriculum designer, Middle Years Program District EdTech lead, and equity consultant helping teachers and districts amplify the voices of all students. She also hosts a YouTube series and podcast called #SmallBites to educate and create change around issues of access and equity in education. Hedreich is the author of a book series on anti-racism including What is Racism? and What is the Black Lives Matter Movement? Check out this post on "where are you on your cultural literacy journey" that Hedreich and I did together. Something people may not know about Hedreich is that she was a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter. She is a wonderful friend and colleague who keeps pushing all of our thinking.
P.P.S. Please remember to...
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