We are rounding the corner of 14 months. 14 months of wearing masks, physical distancing, no hugging, no gatherings, no anything! 14 months of trying to figure out the “new normal”. 14 months of uncertainty, and fear. It seems impossible that the Corona Virus has been a part of our lives for what feels like forever, but in the same breath feels like yesterday!
14 months ago we began to prepare to bring teachers and children back into our school. It took a long time to create an environment where we would all feel safe not only for ourselves, but for the children and their family. In fact, it took us until July 6, 2021 to bring everyone back together again! It sure looked different, but boy, it felt GREAT!
We stumbled and tripped our way through the first few months. New policies to learn, old habits to break. Trying to learn how we could physically distance from young children (you can’t!) and how to help children learn to physically distance from each other(you can’t!). How to keep surfaces as clean as possible and the greatest of all feats, getting young children to wear masks!
But, here we are almost 14 months later and we are doing it! Not only are we doing it, we are doing it really, really well! Children and teachers alike show up each day. They arrive with smiles; we can tell by their eyes, excited to see what the day has in store. The “new” policies are old hat by now. Physical distancing is still not much of a thing with the children even though we try. And, the masks? Well surprise, surprise, the children adjusted to the masks much faster and with less complaint than we adults! Not surprising as children are very resilient. I don’t like that they have had to be as resilient as they have in these past 14 months, but that is the reality.
A new excitement has come to all of us, vaccines! Vaccines are a game changer for all of us who have been in class, in person every week since July 6th. We all speak of the fact that this vaccine just may allow us to spend time as a staff, together exchanging ideas and thoughts. It just may allow all of the teachers to create a connection with each child in our community, not just those in their cohort (I really can’t wait to delete this word from my daily use!) and maybe, just maybe it truly is a giant step towards operating as we had always operated in our school. We are a bit away from all of that, but it’s so close I can feel it!
We have all grown in these 14 months. We have all changed in these 14 months and most of all we have all gained an appreciation for life, health and each other. There are silver linings every where. We are moving in the right direction and with us we are towing not only the hardships, but the silver linings, different for each person, yet still there. I don’t want to go back to the old normal, I want my new normal to be built from all I have learned in the past 14 months.
The KHS community has truly shined in the past 14 months. There is no other community I would want to be a part of. Each of you has played a major role in what has turned out to be a giant silver lining! The sense of respect, love and appreciation has lined the past 14 months with sterling silver! May we all continue to walk with grace.