My wife is a hero. She is the ultimate educational “utility player.” When I met her she was a young college assistant professor. Since I have known her she has served anywhere she has been needed in both public, private, home-school and college settings. She has taught high school, pre-K, middle school, college courses and across elementary school grades (she’s a science teacher by training as well as having a Master’s in Counseling). She really is amazing. The Ultimate Utility Player.
This year, the year of the Novel Coronavirus-19, she will be teaching kindergarten because that is where her principal needs her this round. (By the way, she has already passed up a Master Teacher job offered to her by another school in the same district). Can you imagine that? Kindergarten?!? With a room full of over 20 little people who for 7 straight hours will rely on hugs when they cry (because they miss their mommy), need help with going to the bathroom, who will no doubt tug on, swap with friends and wear as a headdresses their little masks (in a room already too small to keep kids 6 feet apart, which won’t matter much anyway since they won’t be able to stay away from one another… because they are 4&5 years old).
Daily, they will all come together from different homes of different families, some of whom will have been faithful in practicing good protocols but others who will unfortunately not have been as vigilant. They will gather and need help with their coats and their little book bags, with inserting their straws in their juice boxes and help when their shoes come untied, while the bigger kids this year get the option of having class “virtually.” Not so for the little ones. They can’t stay at home by themselves so they will congregate and will rely on these wonderful men and women, like my Michelle, to love them, encourage them, teach them, disinfect them, wipe tears, change their clothes (when accidents happen), corral them, feed them and clean up after them all while trying to keep them safe, running tornado, fire and intruder drills and making sure they all get on the right bus or in the carpool line so that they make it home “safely” to their mommies and daddies. This will be happening while all the rest of the world will be social-distancing, masking and limiting interaction with one another. This will be what my highly educated, self-sacrificing, Jesus-loving, “MVP-class” utility-player wife will be doing for some of your kids this year.
I don’t think it’s asking too much to request that you show respect for, encourage, speak kindly to and pray for these teachers who are now being charged by some with being selfish, lazy or uncaring because some have rightly expressed a bit of concern over this current situation. Just wondering… is there any chance our pre-K and kindergarten teachers will be receiving hazard pay from our government this year? Asking for a friend.
Thank you Michelle for always being the loving girl with the big heart God created you to be. You are gift to our family and to every student who has ever been blessed to sit in your classroom. We are all praying for you and your teaching friends. I have no doubt you will love those little people with all your heart, as you always do, regardless of all the extra stuff you have to deal with this year. You’ve always been my MVP.