My wife and I have spent more of our lives together than apart. We have been together for 35+ years and married for 29 years this year. I have sat with her each morning on the last day of school for 30 years and had coffee like we always do, this morning was no different.
Most teachers this time of year would be excited that the year is over and “good riddance” to the “problem child”, but not my wife. She has said multiple times in the past 24 hours, “I think I’m sad that the year is over. I didn’t get enough time with these kids.” You see, for all of our school district’s second graders, this was their first full school year in a school building. Think about that. How crazy is it that second grade is their first experience ever of being in school all day? And we wonder what is wrong academically and socially with our kids?
She, unlike some teachers, has been upset by remote learning (hates it), social distancing, and the masking of our kids and staff. You see, she lives with someone who reads the data and reviews the real statistics of who was really being affected by this virus, and it was not the kids. Truth.
During the pandemic, due to social distancing, teachers were not allowed to hug kids. She did it anyway. She would tell me, “Sometimes those little ones are having a bad day and they’re crying, and they just need a hug”, so she hugged them. And guess what? Everyone is still alive! She would close the door to her classroom and allow the students to be students, and kids to be kids. What parent wouldn’t want that?
I am sure that she has broken so many pandemic rules this year that a liberal court would sentence her to a life of masking if they only knew. But this is someone that is truly concerned about “the kids” and it is in her nature to be a nurturer and she can’t suppress it. She is already concerned about some of the kids being out of school for the summer, “where will their snacks come from? Will they get a proper lunch? Who is going to read with them?” And on and on. Her worry and her connection with these kids will not stop all summer.
Her commitment to their health and well-being encompasses her whole soul. She is truly an educator and a mother at heart. So, as those liberal teachers wave happily in their masks today as the bus load of kids leaves school, remember, there is one educator that has given her students a “normal” first-year experience, and lived to tell about it. So, is summer really here? At this moment, based on my educator’s words, I’m not so sure.