Wednesday, March 25, 2020


In many ways, we are walking on eggshells during this COVID-19 event. These fragile eggshells that line our path remind us that everyone is impacted by this event in different ways. For some, they have ill family members. Others are distanced from those they love and care for. Still more are facing layoffs and financial uncertainty. Many too are juggling the needs of work and family at home often without the material and personal supports they typically have to care for themselves, their family, and their work responsibilities. For certain, we are all at a somewhat different place as we navigate the COVID-19 event, and while we need to be sensitive to that, I don't believe that should silence us from sharing our thoughts, doing our best, asking needed questions, and offering suggestions too.

Where am I at this time?

Teaching and Learning
I am learning a lot about virtual teaching, learning, and collaboration during this event. As school teams connect online, we are all navigating new tools to do our best by each other and our students. Connecting with the students is the inspiration that is moving me ahead. They clearly want to connect online, and I want to respond to that need. Hence, with my team, we are trying out a large number of ways to respond to students and families, support students' education, and motivate students to cary on with their learning during this at-home time.

Three family members are home including my college-age son, husband, and me. We have each made specific corners of the house our home-offices, and during the day we are all busy working in our designated areas. In the evening, we generally share a good meal and some entertainment. As for my sons and extended family who don't live with me, I stay in touch by phone and computer.

Elderly Parents
I talk to my elderly parents once or twice a day. My siblings as well as their neighbors have been checking in with them too. Many have dropped off food and other helpful supplies as well. My parents are taking this very seriously and following the good leadership of Massachusetts' Governor Baker and his leadership team. They are impacted positively by the good leadership shown as well as the comforting and helpful communication they are receiving from many.

Our neighbors are also taking the virus seriously. Many can be found outside hiking or biking along the sidewalks and woodsy trails. The fact that they are all taking it seriously, makes it easier for us to do that too.

Since I am a fan of servant-leadership, I am thinking about the ways that I can serve and partner with the families and students I teach and the colleagues I teach with.

Going Forward
If this school closure is going to last, I'm hoping to put a little more structure into my days. That said, I recognize that structure during a pandemic is an oxymoron in many ways since we really don't know what is around the corner. Right now, I think we can predict the numbers of sick/dying to increase for some time and then eventually start to go down. In Wuhan, the event lasted from early December until late March, yet they are still on a lockdown of sorts and are wary of re-infection of the area. If we are going to experience this like them, that means we'll experience this in a big way from now until early July. Hopefully the Governor of Massachusetts, unlike the President of the United States, will continue to consult the experts in this situation as he guides efforts in our state--that will cause less frustration, worry, and illness.

For me, I am going to use this time to focus on ways that I can best support student learning online. I am going to try a number of new ideas with my colleagues to both inspire and teach students. All the ideas I try online are ideas I hope to use offline as well in the future such as today's fraction bingo game and fraction value lesson.

We all have to be cognizant that we are walking on eggshells in many ways these days. We have to be compassionate to the roles and challenges our many colleagues and family members are facing, and we have to do the best we can. Onward.