I know it’s been more than a year that we’ve all been living in a global pandemic and I know it has been super hard for some. It hasn’t been super hard for me and I feel very lucky. The really significant challenges and tragedies that many have faced, have not hit our family. The everyday hardships have mostly been avoided too. It hasn’t been fun, but it has been doable for me. I’m grateful for that.
In spite of that, I’m done. I hit the wall this morning and I hate it all.
It started with a student who wasn’t feeling well. She’s a highly dramatic student, but always in the best ways. I knew if she was struggling that it was real. And she tried to keep going but I finally took her down to the clinic (I have a student teacher right now – another thing that has made all of this easier for me). The clinic aide sent me to the ‘sick room’ and had to point me in the right direction as I had no idea where it is. We interacted with a few people as we went from our classroom to our ultimate destination, all of whom were kind and warm. All of whom were also, reasonably, distanced.
It felt so wrong to me. Here was a child struggling and we couldn’t respond as we would have done a year and a half ago. We couldn’t care for her in the way she needed us to do. I understood it and hated it.
In addition, as we made our way through our huge school, we passed many classrooms. I can’t help but peek in as I pass classrooms anytime. Today, it hurt. Kids at desks alone. Kids on computers with headphones on. Teachers standing apart from everyone else. Classrooms that are row after row of desks and almost nothing else. The walls are mostly empty. The furniture is all the same.
I don’t know all of these teachers (as our grade level moved from the primary school to the upper school on our campus this year) but I do know some of them. I like them and respect them. I know this isn’t what they want. It isn’t what I want either. But my classroom fits right in.
All of these choices, how we handle a sick kid, what our classrooms look like, what the kids are doing all day, they’re all in place to keep everyone physically safe. I know that. I believe that. I don’t think we’d be better off if we’d remained virtual all year either. There are costs to that as well.
There isn’t a good answer. There’s not even a decent answer. All of the answers suck.
And I hate it.