By Kathleen Bryant
Friday, March 13 we received an email from our administration that the schools would be temporarily closed and we would be notified if it would be longer than a week. I was off balance that Friday and scrambled to put in lessons on Google classroom for the week.
Ask my colleagues, I was not putting it all together at that point. I had a million questions running through my head. How will we serve students who do not have access to technology?
I remember that our 7th grade show is coming up.
How will we be able to fit in rehearsals? So my initial reaction was confusion and anxiety. Typically when there has been a snow day there is this initial celebration in the hearts of most teachers. This was different. My gut response was what about my kids? Yes I call them my kids because that is what our school system is. It is a family and our family was being shaken to its core. As the reality of an extended closure sunk in, I took comfort in the fact that we are the extended family of our students, parents, faculty and staff.
Then it happened. Our family showed up. Counselors posted online resources for coping with anxiety. Administration made intuitive decisions for students and staff. Meals were provided to students and copies of assignments were delivered.
Younger teachers taught the seasoned teachers how to navigate technology. Fine arts teachers rehearsed with Google hangouts. Our media specialist posts the morning announcements. The administration valiantly navigated so many firsts and I for one am very proud of our leaders and our school system.
Here we are three weeks later and we are still in an extended closure. I have heard from many of my colleagues that they are weary of not being with students. We miss them. We miss being there for them and listening to their stories and the daily drama of life in the day of a middle schooler. We are concerned about them and have reached out just to make sure they are OK.
I have heard that teaching is a calling or a vocation. In times like these I am affirmed that yes it is a calling and that is why it pulls our heart strings when we can not be present and available for them.
My message to Morgan County Middle school students,
Hey guys this is KB and I want you to know we miss you and we can’t wait to see you soon! Remember to practice social distancing and be safe!.
Kathleen Bryant is the theater teacher at Morgan County Middle School. She has been teaching theater in Morgan County for 16 years.