Taking a Toll

 

I want everyone to realize the toll this is taking. As a school principal, I’m in the untenable position of trying to make this work. We all want our students to be back in our schools. Physically and emotionally.

We want to provide all of the services that we normally provide to students and families. We are simply not able to. We’ve been dealt a hand that doesn’t allow us to fold, but we’ve also got no shot at winning this one. We need to balance the needs of individuals while considering whether the logistics are going to work for everyone.

Decisions that we make have long lasting impact. We are responsible for making these decisions often without information or support from state and federal experts and agencies. The arguments surrounding this situation have become politicized and bring out anger and resentment from both sides. Often this vitriol is directed at us, those in charge.

It’s not easy. None of the options are good. They are just passable. They are band aids. We’re trying to do the best that we can to piece this together and deliver something that will help students. It’s a house of cards waiting for the right wind to blow it all over.

I haven’t had a good night sleep in four months. It wears on me. I’m exhausted, both mentally and physically. Drained by the time I come home to my own children.

At all moments, I think about those that are lost right now. I think constantly about the students we haven’t heard from. What else can I do for them? How can I reach them? How can I make this better for them?

I constantly worry about the long term impact of all of this. On teachers. On students. On families. On all of us.

I think we are going to see a mass exodus from the classroom. Teachers who simply decide that they can’t do this. Can’t keep up this pace. Teachers who won’t be teachers any more.

I’ve seen a lot of tears. Students. Parents. Teachers. Administrators. Each one of these individuals absolutely trying their hardest to make this work. Each person slowly realizing that they are still failing despite the incredible efforts.

Adults struggle with this feeling of failure over an extended period of time. Even though I believe that kids are resilient, I’m not even sure how this feeling of failure is impacting them. I envision long term damage to an entire generation of kids.

Please know that I’m doing my best. We are all doing our best. In this case though, our best is simply not good enough. Our efforts are not accomplishing what we think they are.

As a rule, I try to tag a lot of my posts with the word motivation. I try to remain as positive as possible through all circumstances. I can’t do that today.

It’s taking a toll.

 

Rich