As we end this school year in a few short days, there are great feelings of mixed emotions. Covid changed everything about my job and that was scary enough. What kept me going during that time was being able to see my students each day and the time I spent texting and Google Meeting with my colleagues and friends.
I applaud the parents who know became teachers and worked together to support their students learn new skills. As we end this week, I know there will be celebration and great sadness at the same time.
With teens and tweens, you never know how everyone is feeling at any moment on a regular day. With being quarantined and away from school, feelings can change in a moment’s notice.
I thought someone was injured when my youngest came to me hysterical when she realized some of her friends in the classroom that she helps in were moving to another school. I cried with her.
When I realized that my middle daughter is already going to high school and that all assignments for 8th grade are officially over, I cried.
While watching the final episode of Netflix’s Alexa & Katie and seeing them graduate, I cried again knowing that my daughter has one final year of high school left.
I think we are all filled with many emotions right now and it is tough. It is real tough especially not knowing how I am even going to approach my job and/or the idea of what school will be like in September.
With so many tears, I look to find things that make me smile. My daughter and her friends attended a Unity Rally. This makes me smile.
My other two daughters are out biking together. This makes me smile.
A former student of mine is making artwork to raise money for Black Lives Matter. This makes me smile.
Since George Floyd’s horrific death, the world has been awakened. I wrote something on my personal Facebook page at that moment that expressed my frustration at the moment and some did not like my words.
Now that I can look back on my post, I reread my friends who commented and know that I am better for expressing my views and feeling the love from friends old and new. A lot of love was given to me that day. Phone calls and text messages from some that I have not heard from in awhile but value their friendships. You know who you are.
Mr. Rogers always taught us to be kind. I know by their actions that my daughters are kind. They inspire me with their selfless acts of being kind. As a teacher, I hope to instill being kind to all who enter my classroom.
It is my belief that writing these words are not enough. It is a time to listen. Really listen. I know this is something that I can work on too.
With emotions high, I looked to see how I could do more or do better. Then while slowly going back on to social media, I saw this book by Christian Robinson, You Matter.
Books like this one are what we all need right now.
It is up to all of us to be better, do better.
For me that means looking deeper into talking about race and listening.
Here are some resources that I have found helpful:
As we navigate through the rest of June and the months ahead, stay safe, be kind and listen are my hopes for all of you.