It might be hard to remember that feeling of gratitude that happened in May and June as all the kids perhaps drove by to get their diplomas, the way communities bonded and developed a new tradition to help build in thanks for the way education rallied and helped communities have a chance to recover. But here we are, in the season that begins with thanks. And we might be tired of waiting for whatever ‘end’ of COVID restrictions might be. But whatever your community is using, please keep using it. Please stay safe.
Let’s start with some thank you
To the parents, to the spouses, to the families of first responders, especially our medical workers, Thank you. While we educators might not know the cycles of challenges that are specifically faced by the medical community, we know that not only professional duty kept you going out and helping all the members of our community, you were bound to see this through. And at best, we are only half way through in most areas.
To the students, for our youngest students who have never known any other education, we thank you for being brave enough to keep trying. To our older students we thank you for knowing that this is temporary, that something like the school you have experienced in years past will come again. For the students who are stepping up, we thank you. To the students who are still frightened by this change, it will be okay, we are still here. For the students who feel they are not doing much, we are working on it.
To the families, you might not be thrilled with distance learning. You might be more worried about what your student is not able to do any longer. But what has generally been said, even your student with a disability, is not any more behind than their academic peers. Everyone is experiencing the challenges of Distance Learning or Hybrid, or full return with modifications. For the families who made decisions to stay home, we know much you agonized over those choices. For those families who made decisions to send their children to Hybrid or full return, we know that you too may have agonized over those choices.
To the educators and their families. The choices of returning to work or not is quite challenging. It is not just about the test of patience that has been laid at the feet of educators. For those who have started to only scratch the surface of ‘figuring it out’, for those who feel confident. To those who have spent extra hours helping coworkers. You understand the challenges that we are facing. You understand that the extra work that has gone into making things happen. You understand that the exhaustion that has reached a new level. You understand that things are not as easy as they should be. But nothing ever worth teaching ever has been.
It is not easy. Nothing ever worthwhile should be easy. But we are continuing along with whatever version of school. We wish everyone well. We wish for happier times ahead.
We will be off next week for the holiday of Thanksgiving in the United States. We know this holiday may look different compared to previous years, but it means all the same this year. We remember the family who have shared and sacrificed. We remember the family that call and ask us every day. We remember to give thanks to our friends and allies who make the challenges of being away for so long a little bit easier to accept. If you are able, please contribute financially to a local food bank or shelter. And know that next year, will be a celebration to remember.
ParaEducate will be off next week for United States Thanksgiving. Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published during the academic school year on Mondays, unless a holiday or announced day off. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.