Here goes the understatement of the century...
The last year has been tough. During a pandemic, everything takes longer. And is more difficult. Tasks that at one time came as naturally as breathing now involve intentional, mindful, painfully slow consideration and planning.
So it's no wonder that we are all exhausted. And impatient. And ready for it all to end.
But in the midst of the many obstacles, there have been SO many more moments of gratitude. And appreciation. And new-found joy. In the simple things. The things we used to take for granted.
The most profound of these moments comes from a greater appreciation for all that schools do.
Yesterday I watched kids playing volleyball in the gym. They were distanced, the equipment had been sanitized and they were wearing masks. And it brought tears to my eyes. Because kids were laughing. And joyful. And for many, participating in something that "pre-Covid", they might not have. For these kids, it was a connection. A place to belong. A distraction from many months of trudging through protocols and procedures.
If asked, most people might say that the primary purpose of schools is to "educate" students. But what I have come to appreciate more deeply in the past year is that our purpose is so much more.
School is connection and belonging, safety and nourishment, stability and inspiration.
School is so much more.