It was the night of March 2nd. My hometown and neighborhood in Nashville, TN was hit with devastating tornadoes. Entire neighborhoods were left in piles of wood. We were out of school for the remainder of the week – and in shock, reeling from the loss of community…and control. It made us pause and reel.
School had just been in for 3 days before we were out of school again amid COVID #19. If we hadn’t felt out of control already, this cemented the loss of control for us.
As schools across the country raced to close, the push for remote and online learning took hold. Overnight parents who were working as lawyers or at UPS or nurses or caring for their younger kids or older relatives were being expected to teach.
As humans, we operate under an illusion of control and activity. So even in these times, we try to respond to them by control and activity. And yet, we need to pause.
Coronavirus attacks the respiratory system. Yet we need to collectively focus on pausing, breathing and thinking. We can’t let Coronavirus attack our collective breath.
Schools and districts in acts of heroism went into action – setting up food banks and pantries, setting up online and remote learning opportunities, having teachers get in touch with students and families.
Now I’d like to ask us to pause – collectively – and breathe.
In education, we are doers. But we need to pause.
What Should We Ask Families
We need room to ask the question to our constituents – families, students, teachers. Ask them:
- For your family, what do you need right now?
- What resources do you need?
- As a teacher, what do you think we should do?
- What assets does your family have?
- Do you feel prepared for the next 3 months?
- What assets does your community have?
- Are there 3 things that you worry about most?
THEN you can create the plans and resources that most meet the needs of families, students, and teachers.
It’s okay to pause. Cede control for the moment, so you can create the best for your students, teachers and their families in the future.