May 28, 2021: Gratitude
I started this year by saying we needed to practice patience, grace, understanding and flexibility. I truly believe that by practicing those traits, we were able to make it through a year like no other in education.
There is one word that I need to add to the list: GRATITUDE. I am so very thankful for the efforts of everyone responsible for educating our children – parents and guardians, bus drivers, office support staff, classroom teachers and faculty members, paraprofessionals, nurses, maintenance and custodial staff, cafeteria staff, coaches, advisors and volunteers, and administrators. Without you doing what you do, our students could not have had as successful a year, whether in person or by learning virtually.
Looking back at the beginning of this year, I hoped that our planning would allow for a safe environment for learning. The execution of that plan by everyone involved made that a reality. While it wasn’t what we were used to, students still were engaged in lessons, extracurricular activities still occurred, and students were still able to interact with their friends and adults with their colleagues. We had positive cases of COVID (around eight percent of our school population, counting adults and children), and over 2500 instances of students quarantined (some are counted more than once; my daughter counts for three of those quarantines!); but throughout it all, school life continued.
Parent involvement was more critical than ever. Families of students who chose the virtual route of CVVA or Real Time Virtual took on a “co-teaching” type of role with the classroom teachers. Without parent involvement, the chances of student success in this virtual environment decreased. Parents were also important in supporting our children on the social/emotional side. Whether it was supporting extracurricular activities, setting up play dates, or simply keeping our children safe, when they interacted in the school environment, they did so with a belief that this was going to be OK!
Teachers were true masters of their craft. Never before have they been stretched in their profession: teaching both in-person and online simultaneously; teaching virtually from home while quarantined; communicating through masks while trying to maintain some semblance of social distancing; recognizing the importance of the social/emotional side of education when dealing with students and colleagues alike; and dealing with their own health and well-being in the midst of a pandemic.
Support staff and administrators developed and implemented precautions and procedures that not only complied with ever-changing guidelines, but more importantly, helped to create those safe and responsive environments for everyone. They successfully rededicated themselves to truly support the learners and educators of CV.
So, THANK YOU for your patience, grace, flexibility and understanding; and THANK YOU for doing what you do best – taking care of our children!
- Dr. Z