I have no words of consolation, no idea how to process where we are in the midst of this social isolation. And my heart is broken at the thought of not seeing your children in the next few weeks, and perhaps not even after spring break.
In the next few days, we will plan the BNS Remote Classroom. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, I want to take a moment to remember our former custodian, Hank Friedland, who passed away from cancer last Friday. Hank was a wonderful human being, a man who reminded me of the importance of humility, humanity, and kindness. I am so sorry to not have him still out and about at 610.
A memory of Hank: He is sweeping in Steve’s room. I wander by and observe. He keeps stopping. He stops to read the students’ words on the wall, he stops to admire the many artifacts, he stops to ponder each child’s artwork. Hank sees me and says, “Every time I clean, I learn so much.”
When Hank started to struggle with his health, he told me that the custodial work was getting to be too much, but he loved being in the building. Would I nominate him to be a paraprofessional? Nominate him, I did. Sadly, he was never able to follow through.
As we struggle with the situation we are in, let’s keep Hank’s wisdom in our hearts. And thank you, Hank, for the photograph, previously published on Instagram.
I close with a poem by Pablo Neruda:
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.
For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
Thinking of all of you during this difficult and sad time.
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Dateline: from the DOE website
For the remainder of this week, teachers and administrators will participate in professional development on remote learning, and students will begin picking up materials for continued instruction.
The schedule, as we move to remote learning, is as follows:
Effective Monday, March 23, Regional Enrichment Centers will be available for the children of first responders, healthcare workers, and our most vulnerable populations, with more details to follow.
Additionally, remote learning will go into effect for grades K-12. DOE will support schools at all levels of readiness to deliver remote learning, and more information will be provided to families about online platforms.
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