The thing that I notice about our culture, especially when watching recent events in the news, is the diverse reaction to the Covid 19 crisis. Threatening existence and comfort can consume anyone. But there is a choice that can be made to the reaction of these unprecedented times. What is the the right direction? What should I do?
I am inspired by people that have the ability to handle these types of situations with grit and determination. They know how to serge into battle with courage when times of panic arise. I admire those on the front lines, working in hospitals, especially those coming out of retirement to do so. I see stories of people volunteering their time to serve the elderly by delivering food and supplies. Also, the workers who keep our country fed, working in groceries stores, food delivery and service, and food banks. These are just a few examples of people who are putting their lives on the line to save others! I thank you all!
As a teacher, I am working from home. I'm doing the best to my ability, trying not to get overwhelmed when serving my students' educational needs and hoping they are okay. The major concern is there are so many students that are unable to be contacted or not responding to the initiatives made by teachers to communicate. This seems to be problem everywhere. It is not only education needs for students but their security needs that is a matter of concern. Are they getting care? Food? The right attention?
Though I have these concerns and constantly reassessing to do more to serve my duties as a teacher, I have to continue to maintain gratitude that I am making income. I in turn am thinking of those who have lost their jobs. It saddens me to hear of people struggling to feed themselves and families as a result. The images of thousands of cars lined up at food banks all throughout our country is very alarming.
While working from home, I have to continually reassess this new normal. I am in constant communication with staff and colleagues. One of the new commitments is the attendance of Zoom meetings. Before one of my weekly meetings, an email was sent, with an attachment to view a video link. We were to reflect on it for a topic for discussion during our meeting. The material was a TED Talk, given by Angela Lee Duckworth, a teacher early in her career, eventually making her lifework in psychology. In the video she spoke about how she conducted studies with the concern of certain personality types coming from tough circumstances, poverty, or other debilitating situations. This resonated with me because so many of my students come from troubling home lives. The main focus of her study, that she spoke so eloquently about, was of the distinct personality traits of certain individuals from those select groups that have the skills to overcome hardships and are successful with the understanding of how to have “grit”. I wonder how many of my students could possess such a wonderful gift. I then thought of my own situation, dealing with remote learning, feeling a little isolated, and coping with the fear of unpredictability.
The issue of struggle during this pandemic is all that the news can focus on. I can't help but think about my part in this matter. When I saw the video footage of cars lined up at food banks, in the county where I teach, I realize that parents or family members of my students might be driving those cars. I work for a Title 1 school. That is a definite possibility. In reaction to that news story, I have been donating as much food as often as I can. Can I do more? What grit do I have to assist in this matter?
In closing, I just want to say how much I admire all of the work done to feed our students. I see reports of how many meals are served. It relieves me that our students are thought of and the work is committed to provide that service within our school system. The initiative takes the grit and determination to step up when duty calls. Thank you all who serve and feed our students! The work you are doing is greatly appreciated!