I’m in the middle of my 1:00 AM – 3:00 AM “awake as f*ck” stage. Not sure why, but almost every night for a week, I’m up at this time. I’m thinking that I’ll go on YouTube Live with a new show: “Why In The Hell Am I Up?”. Ok, maybe not, but damn.
Anyway, Pitbull was on Good Morning America pushing his new song. I was going to write about this yesterday, but then we got word that school was canceled for the rest of the year.
So, I didn’t believe. I lost faith. As a teacher, I’m not trained for this kind of learning. My wife is there too. She’s losing faith because she wants “perfection” and it’s just not possible with technology that we’ve not been trained, with the methodology we’ve never used. People talk about flipped classrooms, and that’s all good, but this isn’t just flipping your classroom, because the flipped classroom assumes face to face conversation as well. We won’t see our students for the rest of the year. I have a student who is moving to Michigan in June. For many of his classmates, March 13th was that last day they’ll see him again. There are so many of these stories around us that we don’t even know about and it’s crushing us.
And yes, I was wallowing in self-pity for myself and my profession. So I pulled up Pitbull. Now if you are unfamiliar with this artist, he’s got a pretty good back story. Yes, his music and videos sometimes leave much be desired, his efforts have helped many people out. That idea of “I believe” struck me because I believe we will be back in school next fall. I believe a new normal will be a better normal for many of us. And I believe that through it all the spirit that makes this country great will continue to rise up. No, we won’t see it at our upper levels of politics, but at state and local levels, the grassroots effects will be what makes the difference.
I’ve reflected on how blessed my wife and I are to have our jobs, to be able to continue to teach (even though we aren’t comfortable with this format) and to be able to help our community. A couple of nights ago, friends brought over fresh chicken eggs for our incubator, and we talked about the fact if we need to get out, we can walk for miles without seeing a person. Not everyone is in that situation right now. I can get out and plant in my garden soon, not everyone had that option either.
I miss my students. But I won’t wear it like a badge of honor. No, I will keep pushing them to take advantage of the opportunities we give them. I will push myself to create new and better things for them. And I will push to make whatever our world becomes a better one all the way around.
The last line of the song has stuck with me:
Bottom line, no matter what, face everything and rise.
If we don’t, during this time of crisis, then when will be ever?