Let’s be blunt: four weeks into the current school year and no one seems to be operating at full speed. Not the kids. Not the administrators. Not the teachers.
We are sick of enduring a school year perpetually slowed by the paralysis of COVID protocols — the endless masking, the creepy and unnerving disappearance of students for long stretches of time (ten days if they are exposed to a student who has tested positive), and the specter of an unknown future stretching into winter and spring. It is no longer surprising when sports teams take two-week hiatuses. Games, competitions and dances get suddenly canceled and everyone knows why.
In early July everyone thought this school year would represent a “return to normal.” Those of us who love the classroom, who rejoice in the communal joy of a school campus, who find it utterly enthralling and glorious to take part in the process of mentoring and teaching young minds, now face a terrifying prospect lurking beneath the surface of our everyday classes: what if this is the new normal?
Outbreaks without end. Hoarse voices to eternity and back. Rigid seating charts. Campus life perpetually haunted by the crushing anvil of uncertainty. I