That is meant to be a little less violent than what it sounds like. I’m not encouraging a Brad-Pitt-brass-knuckles-wearing beat down festival, where we pick the meanest looking guy with fists of fury to protect us,. Instead, take my meaning to be that we need to advocate for an emotional “fight club” of sorts—-one that teaches as important of a lesson as any textbook could presently offer.
I share the image from a friend of mine who put it out into cyberspace for a moment of contemplation; she is a fellow educator in the trenches, grappling with the new frenzied pace we exist within.
First, before you take offense at my ensuing words, know that I’m totally, and genuinely, in awe of the men and women educators, a legion of hardworking individuals, who, in the past fourteen or more days (in foreign locations, over two months), have done more work than they ever knew possible, in order to ensure that learning can still take place for our children—-from new digital platforms, to resource sharing, to numerous virtual chats to provide encouragement, which is so greatly needed at this hour of tumult. I am like a novice teacher all over again, though it’s my 13th year.
I am also one of those who had to set up a home front learning battle station overnight for a burgeoning learner. In retail, don’t they call those type of insta-booths “pop ups”? I’ve had little time prior to quarantine to prepare for her benchmarks in kindergarten. This past week has felt a bit like a Macy’s one day sale and Black Friday shopping all at once.
It got me thinking about Hurricane Ike, and his nasty, fast-moving big brother, Harvey, as well as their cranky sister, Tropical Storm Imelda. When those three siblings slammed us in Texas, we had a physical element of disaster to contend with; that included a loss of supplies, transportation, electricity, connection to our loved ones, and other human needs. It took months to rebuild and some are still doing that. STILL. Some did not recover.
Rain still makes me nervous and it still worries me when my husband, labeled a first responder at the airport, knows he is required to remain when others are allowed to be with their families, working remotely. He’s still working now, with nothing provided by his work place to protect his health or well-being, in one of the nation’s largest airport hubs. He is in his own trench during this pandemic-focused world we live in, and it frightens me. He is incredibly brave.
We don’t have that same physical hurricane/storm scenario now, but we are still in crisis; this time, it’s the sneakiest, relatively new “family member” in the host of catastrophic events we’ve dealt with in the past decade and a half. This virus is totally different. You don’t see rain, or hear thunder; it passes next to you, lingers for hours on porous surfaces, and has been around a bit longer than we previously knew. It’s like it’s hiding in plain sight, and I find that concerning.
We still need to respond to BOTH the educational and socio-emotional needs of the education-deprived part of the population (as in, those that cannot attend a place where education occurs); however, this is also a time to draw close to one another in fellowship, within our own four walls.
We need to equip our newest generation with the coping mechanisms necessary to combat a pandemic, a natural disaster, or any other crisis of epic proportions that causes us to feel fear and panic, because this may happen in some other way, some other year, and we need to nurture them now. As an adult who often feels ill-equipped to the stop tears from falling, I could use some coaching, too.
Remember: as many have already posted, as so many tweets, memes, and videos have already shown, we crave human connection to center us, to remind us that we matter, to help us see past the “now,” as uncertain as it may be. Let’s look at the words ‘school’ and ‘education’ with their new definitions: school your children in these frames of thinking and educate them (and yourself) on ways to persevere and thrive.
Try to connect, discuss, relax, and teach those things this weekend and the coming days. That’s my homework with my three. As a people, in the end, I think we will be more rewarded if we do these things now.
If you’re a person of faith, and are comfortable sharing a verse or song of light, you have an extra ace up your sleeve and you should share it with the world.
Teach one another how to fight fear.
That’s a powerful lesson to learn. Let’s fight a Corona with a hurricane of love.
~Kindred Spirit~ 3.21.20 Pt 2