Until not long ago, I was a resident of Beeville for almost 20 years and was a central office administrator for Beeville ISD almost as long. I still get the Beeville Bee-Picayune newspaper in the mail in San Antonio, where I live now.
I was recently asked by a young man, who is a parent, what I, as a retired educator, thought about the options for school during these unprecedented times. Among the things I told him was that there are no easy choices right now. However, I have been impressed as I read and watch what educators do so well. They have worked together and brainstormed what is best for children and staff members, and they continue to work together on all of the complex educational issues at this time, since school has started. Educators are parents and spouses, too. They are experts at working together and educating children and young adults. They have tried to think of what is best and what will work and, believe me, they are very unhappy when things don’t go as planned. They are working hours well beyond the school hours of 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, while still trying to help their families. There are bound to be glitches, but it will be ok. Everyone has to be flexible and kind. Schools and communities have worked together to provide technological solutions for students, as well as printed packets, books and other supplies. It is at least as expensive to provide education remotely as it is when children are at school. In addition, schools have provided meals to students throughout the year, even when school was not in session. Additionally, it still costs money to maintain school buildings and facilities, even when there are fewer people in those buildings.
Children are resilient and flexible. Teachers are experts at finding gaps in knowledge and figuring out how to fill those gaps. Parents are doing all they can. Please take a deep breath. Be kind. Things are different, and we will look back to this time as a pivot or shift, but everyone is pivoting and shifting. Give yourself and everyone some grace, now and always. We will be ok. Take care of each other.
Nancy B. Jones, Ed. D.