By Melissa Pancake, IPLI Mentor and Principal at Benjamin Franklin Elementary
It was a breathless whisper as the child looked in astonishment at the screen during her first Google Meet. “Your face!” she exclaimed to Mrs. Battles, her second-grade teacher.
The class had been forced into quarantine for a few days due to a student testing positive for Covid-19. The school year had started with in-person instruction, but Mrs. Battles’ class was quarantined for safety precautions due to the positive case.
The child had never seen Mrs. Battles’ beautiful face.
After Mrs. Battles told me the story, I excused myself. I hurriedly closed the door of my office, stood behind the closet door, and out of the sight of safety cameras. The tears started falling, and I cried.
Brene Brown stated, “To feel is to be vulnerable. Believing that vulnerability is weakness is believing that feeling is weakness. Vulnerability is the emotion that we experience during times of uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. We must have the courage to show up, fully engage, and be seen when you can’t control the outcome.”
Time and time again, educators have engaged and shown up to face challenges that have been set before them. This year, one like no other, they have persevered and met those challenges with their hearts set on educating the students fortunate enough to be placed in their classrooms.
Whether it be wearing masks and following all of the other Covid-19 related protocols for in-person instruction, or teaching using online tools and resources for virtual instruction, our educators have done what they set out to do. They are teaching and helping students meet academic goals. They are to be commended for a job well done!
Brown, B. (2018). Dare to lead. Vermilion.