Monday, July 13, 2020

hold me

In my sixteen years of teaching I have never had a first day of school (or any day, really) when every student just walked right in, happy to say "good bye" to their parents, and smoothly joined their peers in learning and play. Very few of my students do this. Many of my students need (and deserve) to be hugged and held through this transition that is such a leap into the great unknown for them. I've hugged and held students at drop off for days, weeks, and sometimes months until they adjusted, hugging and holding three, four, and five year old children who do not fully comprehend this transition or just simply want their mom and dad. And while hugging one child others invariably come over to join the hug. I've had parents have to enter my classroom while still holding their children and in a tangle of arms, mine, the parent's, and the child's, I take over the comforting of these children as their parents make an exit and I give them a friendly look over their child's shoulder or wave, reassuring them that their child will be OK. This is something I've embraced as part of my job.

This school year my students will be being dropped off with a shielded and masked teacher that they may or may not recognize (even though I will be doing a Zoom meetings with them before school starts showing myself putting all of my PPE on). They will have just been through whatever screening protocols the district decides upon and gone through some process of getting to my room. Being upset by this transition is to be expected and understandable. In the current crisis requiring distance, how can I comfort my students and keep them and myself safe. How can I lean in and be part of a tangle of arms? How can I reassure parents that it's going to be OK?  It's possible that some of my students may be able to wear a mask, but it will likely be beyond many of their comprehension, tolerance, and ability to do so for an entire school day, and probably won't be required by the district anyway.

So much to think about and this is just the first five or so minutes of each school day.

"hold me"

Mixed Media
Original available for $85.
16"x12" on watercolor paper
Prints available on request.
(Printed image may be slightly cropped for printing purposes.)

My original paintings are available in my online gallery.

Let me know if you're interested in prints of my paintings.
  I welcome commissions.
Please click the links below to share my blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment