I yearn for a day …
- when every sneeze and sniffle doesn’t make me wonder if I should call home,
- when every little cough or throat clearing doesn’t make me jump back,
- when the presence of kids from other classes doesn’t make our children stop, freeze, and/or move to the side of the hallway for fear of coming close to those in a different cohort,
- when we don’t have to stop the wonderfulness that involves big and little kids playing outside together, for fear of mixing cohorts,
- when we can have an eating table again, and the social connections that happen as a result,
- when we might have a few independent spaces around the room, but not a whole classroom of tables and desks,
- when my teaching partner, Paula, and I — along with so many other educators — don’t have to spend much of our day sanitizing, monitoring for social distancing, and ensuring adequate mask wearing,
- when the independence that we love is not overtaken by micro-managing student behaviour, as we realize the possible safety repercussions if we are not as vigilant,
- when “cohorts” and “social distancing” are not words used so frequently in play,
- when the Coronavirus doesn’t become an evil villain in dramatic play, even when it is so very evil,
- when the wonderful play and socializing that happens outside can happen again inside, without fears around distancing,
- when we can just appreciate the creative ways that kids are connecting without worrying about if they are far enough apart,
- and when maybe even just a smidgeon of what life was like before COVID can return.
I still love my job, our amazing kids, and everything that has been possible even in this very different school year. But some days I yearn for more. Blogging helps me process these feelings — beyond the screaming and crying that are sometimes also a part of me working things through — and then accept reality. For you see, right now, I am healthy, I am safe, and considering the health and safety of others in our care, we will continue to move ahead and do what we have been doing. Not because it’s easy. Not because it always feels right. But because safety comes first.
And so for now, I will get excited about these multiple pylons and buckets that are coming our way today, for it’s supposed to be a very rainy weekend with freezing temperatures on Monday morning. We think that we’ll have lots more ice and water to investigate then …
and it was the incredible outdoor play this past week that brought with it a little bit of normal and a whole lot of joy. What do you yearn for right now? I hope that you find it as cathartic as I do to put these ideas out there. This might not change anything, but it does make me feel better. What about you?