My List of Wishes

Yesterday, I started my day as I always do by reading Doug Peterson‘s blog post. This past week, Doug took a break from blogging to go on a mini-vacation, and I was eager to read his new post on Saturday morning. This post was one that varied slightly from Doug’s more common positive tone with a list of things that he “hates” in the time of COVID. Many people weighed in on this post — myself included — and when he later tweeted about the comments, I headed back to his blog to read what others wrote. It was his tweet that made me think about writing this post of my own.

It was largely due to comments from Sue Bruyns and Beth Lyons that I began to think more about COVID and schools. While I initially intended to write a list of things that “I hate,” I decided to focus on things that “I wish for” instead.

  • I wish that we wouldn’t have to remind children to “pull up their masks,” and fearful about what one “under the nose mask” might mean for student and educator health.
  • I wish that we could support children in playing with each other without the additional concern/consideration of how much distance is between them.
  • I wish that kids could move freely around the room, without first having to think about spacing, gathering, and safety.
  • I wish that we could offer that hug to the child that’s feeling sad or frustrated.
  • I wish that when we do sometimes have to reconsider distancing for any number of reasons (e.g., helping a child with a coat zipper or offering support to a child that’s inconsolable), we wouldn’t first have to question, “What will it mean if this child has COVID?”
  • I wish that every cough didn’t make us jump, and that our query of, “Are you okay?,” wouldn’t really be a wonder of, “Do we need to call home? Could this be it?”
  • I wish that an email of, “My child didn’t pass the screener,” wasn’t a worry of, “Will this be our first positive case?”
  • I wish that screener checks wouldn’t be the first thing that we have to do each day, and following up on missing ones, wouldn’t be the second.
  • I wish that the words “cohort” and “physical distancing” wouldn’t need to be a part of a child’s vocabulary, and that separation wouldn’t be the only way that we could be together.
  • I wish that the presence of “big kids” when we’re outside wouldn’t cause students to run to another space, but instead, provide an opportunity to connect with others. I guess this follows up well to my cohort and physical distancing wish.
  • I wish that we could have some tight gathering spaces — from creating around the tire table to obliterating a cardboard room — that are hard to replicate with social distancing rules.
  • I wish that our eating table could exist again, and that the community atmosphere that it brings with it, could re-emerge as well.
  • I wish that I never had to say, “Look up front,” particularly when it comes to eating or drinking without a mask.
  • I wish we could invite families into the classroom in-person again and not just through a screen.
  • I wish that previous students could visit the room and that new connections could emerge from these kinds of visits.

These wishes might largely remain as wishes, and yet, somehow it feels cathartic to write them down and put them out in the world. What wishes might you add to this list? I wonder if framing them as wishes helps me believe in future possibilities. What about you?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *