The premise of UCONN’s Pandemic Journaling Project is to record, in real time, our experiences, thoughts and feelings about this time in our lives. Options are writing, posting a photo or audio to answer questions posed on a weekly basis. This was my entry for this week which is featured on the site.
As I write this, I am sad. This is the type of sadness that takes my breath, every other one, while I sob. For how well my daughter is doing with the incredible distance learning curriculum you put together, I am not. I yearn for her to be in that building, her second home with her extended family. There is something so special about this school and you help make that happen.
Personally, I miss my closest friends, all parents of my daughter’s friends from school. I miss seeing my people and I miss my life. I wish I was picking her up, saying my hellos to everyone while my daughter runs toward me, dragging her jacket, barely hanging on to her backpack with a huge, mischievous grin on her face.
When I see you, along with your colleagues, walking in the halls or in the office, there is a light above each of you. You genuinely enjoy your work just as you genuinely enjoy my daughter (or so you say!).
This strange and scary time we’re living in right now has many layers to it. While we have heightened alertness to the world around us, the focus is on our kids and their needs. I had no idea how my daughter would react to the coronavirus as well as distance learning. The truth is, I could use some of her strength and patience. She has not complained once and understands what’s now involved when we take our walks, in terms of where others walk. She eased into a new way of learning, almost instantly, and this is primarily due to you. She is also doing a great job of being in touch with friends through “kid-safe” social media, which you have also been promoting.
Yes, I am sad. None of this should be happening. I wish for everyone to stay well and be safe. I wish the same, of course, for you and your families. I cannot fathom the amount of work you do each day: lessons, preparations, corrections, etc. I hope you are treating yourselves with self-care during this stressful time. You deserve it.
Our household has a fuller load, currently, which compounds the normal sadness that we all feel right now. It’s a lot to manage, especially in a small house with a 4th grader upstairs “plugged in” to her classes/work, my husband in the living room doing his work while I’m in the lovely unfinished basement logged on to my zoom therapy sessions and my zoom group therapy. It’s a lot!
My point is, none of what is happening right now is about the internet and how much it offers, even educationally, as that would be too simplistic. It’s about you, it’s about human beings: teachers. It’s about your students – your kids.
While we do not know when this day will be, I can see it so clearly: I watch my daughter run into the school building, screaming after a friend. I realize my breath is being taken while I sob but it’s okay because I’m smiling and laughing: full of hope, gratitude and love for a school who loves, teaches and nurtures its children – and for you, the ones who literally help your students change knowledge into wisdom, create a sense of community within the school and the outer community, and guide your students to live by the value of having and living with a good heart. Teachers, you are masters at modeling these core values of Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford.
And now, my sadness has somewhat dissipated. I expressed my intense gratitude and as a result took in those positives of your educational practice. May you continue to practice as you always have. We will all be together soon and I know my daughter, as well as the rest of your students, are counting the seconds.
With All of My Heart, Thank You.