You made it to Day 12 and the end of week 2! Great work!
I hope it is starting to feel more natural and less forced, this crazy new normal. I have been thinking about what this time is like for our kids. We know it is an anxiety producing time for us grown-ups, no doubt! But it keeps coming to me that kids are sponges for information of all kinds. The good thing is that they are going to soak up all kinds of learning thanks to excellent and determined teachers and parents and caregivers who are invested in them and present to them during this time. But they will also soak up our feelings and anxieties about this time, too. So be careful with your words and your actions—they will absorb them. This can be helpful to you, too. If you have to be steady and solid for your kiddos, it might even calm you in the process. We are in this. We are all in this, and we are doing this, and doing it really well. We are now under a stay-at-home order that basically requires us to do what we should have been doing already. I don’t know about you, but this lowers my anxiety because I know I don’t have the power to control anyone else, but the county can.
And this brings up my biggest issue: control, and not having any of it in this situation. In years past, I used to joke that for Lent I was going to give up control, but this year it’s not really a choice. And, even though I’m not comfortable with that, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Our own Ms. Alicia Jacobs, librarian extraordinaire, once told me “Worry is a misuse of imagination” and I have never forgotten it. I think of that phrase and of Ms. Jacobs often when I start stressing out because it is so true! And with all this opportunity to use our imaginations, we really should put them to the best use. So toward that end, I encourage you to put down all the worry and anxiety this weekend. Don’t worry about what we cannot control, instead use your imaginations to think of what we can do to help, to soothe, to comfort, to care for each other.
I met virtually with PTA, Foundation, & PAC members today and they have galvanized along with members of Glenn and Oak Grove United Methodist Churches to help feed and house our large handful of students who are in danger of losing both. We have committed to ensuring they are fed and have housing. I am so proud of our community. Additionally, starting next week, we are going to ask folks to donate old tablets or laptops that can be used by our students who don’t have any way to access the curriculum. Other ways people are using their imaginations include some families putting paper hearts in each of their windowpanes to show solidarity with one another. Others are putting out their holiday lights. So put those imaginations to GOOD use and let’s do this right.
Thanks for being amazing and wonderful—I am beyond grateful—I am beholden!
As always, I thank you for your continued partnership in education!!!
~ Ms. Ray
P.S. I am posting a book I read, but also some adorable videos of amazing Fernbank kids doing their thing. Take time to enjoy them together and then put your collective imaginations toward what you can do to make things better. We will also be posting a blog that will have of our videos plus my emails and other great info! Stay tuned--it comes Monday!
https://youtu.be/zWOOSysjPqE Kindergartener Amira reads Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
https://youtu.be/e-cIPasn53w Valentina & Gaia read Mr. Panda
https://youtu.be/109P5kkPU2I Roark makes seed bombs!
https://youtu.be/igZKNIsgaUA Arthur plays piano!
https://youtu.be/U_qFsdv1D78 Ms. Ray reads Pancakes, Pancakes!
Joan Fowler Ray, Principal
Fernbank Elementary School