Millions of children are packing up their notebooks and chrome books into backpacks and heading back to school. Teachers too. In my house the morning alarm is back on and travel mugs are in use. Accountability has returned. Perhaps just in time as summer always brings out my every delicious lazy quality. Maybe for your school age children too? Those of us in the building face deadlines and due dates, eligibility requirements and tardy consequences. After two years of COVID interruptions, these restrictions will feel like a straight jacket for some, but for others there will finally be a comfort in having structure back in place. The pendulum is swinging back, at least in our school district, with many reporting issues, of course the humorous irony is how accountability feels like a rarity in many of the political figures central to our lives right now. Wouldn’t you agree?
In the early light, is there anything that holds more promise than a school building? Students arrive via bus or car or bike or foot, teachers too, all bringing a tangible energy, filled with all the opportunity in this day. I always smile driving up the hill to this grand building, the original section completed in 1928. I have spent nearly 3 decades working here, discussing story and craft and everything in between with students from 9th grade to 12th. This year that hopeful energy is even more palatable, because we are back full-time and in-person doing whatever is needed to keep our community safe, even graciously donning a mask. Heroes if you ask me as sacrifice has become the norm.
If you know a teacher or have a teacher friend or relative, or your kids are headed back to school, please, please, be extra kind to those in front of the class, virtual or otherwise. Teachers are venturing into unchartered territory, still, even after those long months last Spring and this summer and even now. This year teachers are remote or hybrid or in-person or some combination of all three, and they are training for these scenarios on the go, repairing the plane while they’re flying so to speak. They need your kind words. They need your continuing support. And everyone involved in this educational system, teachers and parents and students, need to foster resilience, in spades. We all have to be ready for everything and anything that might be coming our way. As we know it will crash on us. Wondering how might we survive?