To my dear students | Mark’s Remarks

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Boys and girls, I am afraid we are living in a very challenging time right now. You are part of history and someday you can tell the story of what life was like during the pandemic.  

It’s been such a long time since I had you in my classroom, and I miss being able to talk to you and hear your perspective on things.  I was always amazed when we talked about real life things, how insightful you could be. I also marveled at your wisdom.

Right now, we are facing a world that is rather selfish. Everyone is tired of being holed up in their homes, and many have said they have waited long enough.  Since some folks have not been affected by the virus, many aren’t taking it as seriously as they should.  This includes adults, teenagers, and children.  

It seems that people are making their own judgments and making decisions based on their preferences – not the greater good of the rest of us.

It’s easy to understand why people feel this way, isn’t it? We are fed up.  Right?

I wish we could talk about this in person, boys and girls. I think you’d have some good questions and some good comments.

When remote learning began in March, we were all thrown for a loop, weren’t we? We know you and your parents worked so hard and your teachers worked extra hard. Remote learning is so very challenging and we were so glad to have your support and the support of your parents. 

However, it was very hard to hear adults talking poorly about teachers and school officials, thinking we were doing something wrong. It was also very hard to convince anyone who was not a teacher or a faculty member how tough it all was. 

On top of that, many of your teachers are also parents and had to help teach their own children, just like your parents helped you.  We were as ready as you were for remote learning to end. Oh, how we dreamed of starting school in August in the regular way.

Do you know that school officials, some teachers, and some parents have been talking and working together since May to figure out the best way for school to begin in August? Many long hours were spent writing proposals, researching strategies, engaging in discussions and mapping out how we should do everything just the right way.  

We had to figure out how to keep students socially distanced in the classroom, on the bus, at lunch and so on. How in the world would we do it?

Finally, a large group of knowledgeable people put together a plan that they thought was best. They presented it to the public, and many people thought it was a good plan. Even if some didn’t like it, they didn’t complain because they knew things are challenging right now. We’ve got to work together and do our best. Many people are willing to put up with some rough patches.

But, boys and girls, many people were upset about the plan to start school. You see, they can’t see past their own homes and their own personal hardships.

Being a parent is super challenging. I’m sure you know how hard your parents work. It’s sometimes tough to come up with a plan when school lets out early. Some parents are stepping up, communicating and trying to figure out some sort of helpful solution to a problem we  hope only lasts a short time.

Still, as I said, some adults in your lives were very upset about the plan.  Mean things were posted on social media – something you’ve been taught in tech class not to do.  Adults said nasty things about school officials. A few adults said that your teachers didn’t want to work very hard. These people decided to bash people who have worked very hard.

So, boys and girls, I’m calling on you to help your school staff and your teachers. Can you talk to the adults in your lives and tell them we are all doing the best we can? No decisions that were made were made in haste, and we certainly had you in mind as we planned. 

School staff and teachers are constantly asking the question “What’s best for the students?” We were asking this long before anything called COVID came on the scene.

Remind the adults in your lives that we need to support each other. We need to show grace, mercy, kindness and understanding. We need to pray with each other. We need to communicate. We need to be more selfless and less selfish.

Some day, this will all be over and we will be able to say we worked together to help one another through it.

It will be a good day when that happens.

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