The Toll, Part 2

 

Today is a day off.

It is necessary and well-deserved.

I’m not sure that anyone truly understands the toll that this is taking.

When I wrote this last year, I thought that we would get beyond all of this. 

I wrote about the toll that it was taking on all of us. Today, I share the toll that it has taken on building administrators, and me specifically. 

We are expected to be the ones who hold everything together. Students, families, and teachers all look to us to ensure that everything is working exactly as it should. The only problem is that the plans put in place this year to make everything work don’t work

Many of us were led to believe that this year would be better. After all, our teachers and students are back in the classroom where they belong. Except when they are not. I’ve had to send kids home from three classrooms in a week. I’ve had to call parents whose children have been quarantined three times in a month. I’ve been yelled at by parents, who are understandably angry. I try to explain that it’s not my fault. I’m only following protocols and guidelines established elsewhere. 

I carry the weight of these conversations home with me. It impacts my relationships with my own family. I try not to let it bother me, but it’s nearly impossible. I worry about each and every kid, and whether what we are doing is helping or just making it worse.

I have trouble sleeping each night. Complete physical and mental exhaustion usually creeps in sometime around Thursday evening when my body shuts down as I sit on the couch with my own children.

I can ask for patience, empathy, and understanding, but I’m not sure that we will get it. After all, we are the ones who are expected to hold all of this together, and to do it with a smile, hidden under our masks.

We will continue to attempt to hold it all together. That’s what we do. 

But it’s taking a toll. 

 

Rich