Dear Springboard Teachers,
I’m writing to you from home, where so many of us are right now. I’m looking across the street at a shuttered elementary school where children come up to the door to get boxed food as one of the city’s emergency measures. Everything seems different. Everything is disconcerting.
The last time I felt this level of dissonance with the world around me was when my first son was born. He came a month before I expected him. I said goodbye to my students before the weekend, he was born Sunday night, and I didn’t show up to school on Monday. All I could think about that first week was how my class was doing at Philadelphia’s M. Hall Stanton Elementary. All of my thoughts and all of my minutes before that weekend had been dedicated entirely to my students. Not being with them was jarring. I’ve been out of the classroom for a few years as I’ve been working at Springboard, but I can imagine how jarring this week has been for you.
I want to write today to offer some space for all of us as educators to take a breath and admit that this isn’t a situation we can control. Let’s breathe together and remind ourselves that just because we can’t control it doesn’t mean we love our students any less.
I know that COVID-19 is far more intense than one teacher’s story of an early maternity leave. I don’t think they’re comparable, but I think the emotions might be the same: the jarring sense of disruption, the frustrating sense of helplessness, the questions we have about how we might still support the students we care so much about. So I wanted to write to share in that moment with you all, and also to invite you to share your experiences with each other.
Join us for a town hall conversation, during which teachers from across the country will share their experiences navigating a challenging new reality. Springboard team members will facilitate the dialogue, but we mostly want to create space for you all to share and create community together in the midst of this isolation.
When: Weds March 25, 2020 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Click the button above or copy and paste this link into your browser to register: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMsfuGsrjkj70Ctr1wCXl8sMv2msqZCtA
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Soon thereafter, we will follow up with free resources to support your engagement with families in learning at home. But first, let’s take a deep breath together. One of the most important things I learned as a new mother is that if you take care of the mother, the baby will thrive. This is also true for us as teachers, of course: Please rest and don’t be too hard on yourself about all the “shoulds” running through your mind. If you take care of yourself, you will have more to offer your students. They need you now more than ever.
With gratitude and respect,
President, Springboard Collaborative