My heart is breaking right now. My heart is breaking for my students who should be getting up each morning and coming to our building, who should be getting hugs and high fives from their teachers, who should be excitedly learning through fun hands-on activities and through interactions with their peers. My heart is breaking for our families: the single moms who are juggling infants while trying to make sure their older children are still getting some school work finished each day, the working parents who are trying to figure out how to work from home while attending to the needs of their children, the parents who are struggling to figure out all of the on-line programs that are being used to facilitate learning. My heart is breaking for my staff, my teachers whose lives have been turned upside down, who are working so hard to stay connected with the students they love, who are hurting because they are well aware of all that they will be missing out on this year.
But while my heart is breaking, I also sit here amazed. I am amazed as I think of one of my students who attended an on-line training with me last night and said to me, “This looks hard, but I think with some practice, I will get it.” I am amazed as I think of one of our school moms who is persevering through absolute chaos and keeping a positive attitude. I am amazed as I think of a dad who is determined to learn how to get his son to the virtual meetings with his class using a platform that is unfamiliar. I am amazed as I think of my teachers, who despite their sadness, continue to work hard to make this the best experience possible for their students. They are learning new ways to connect with students and families. They are learning new platforms for educating. And they are doing it with determination and grace.
During times of crisis, we mourn for what we have lost, but we also rise up and meet the challenges that are presented. This time will be no different. The challenges are new, but together we can meet them, and we can come out stronger on the other side. Joshua 1:9 states, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” May each of us face the challenges ahead with the continued peace that comes from knowing we are not alone.