Creating Beauty in the midst of a Pandemic

IMG_0153March 1, was my birthday. My sweetie and I spent the weekend at the annual Puyallup Sewing Expo. For crafters, who donate most things we make to charity auctions, it is a wonderful place to get new ideas.

By the next day, however, Covid-19 had taken, what would rapidly become, the first of many lives in our own backyard. Teaching little ones the importance of good hygiene and personal practices, especially as an elementary teacher, becomes very important. The other is helping the little ones understand what is happening around them and giving them a safe place to talk about their fears.

The week of March 9, fully escalated….it was spring conference week. Students were scheduled for early dismissal Wednesday and Thursday. Friday was scheduled to be a non-student day, with individual time in the morning and building PD for the afternoon. The entire week, at times with in a few moments, we were in flux. Conferences happened Wednesday but by late that evening, our district cancelled conferences for Thursday. Our task Thursday was preparing our students for a 6 week school closure. The stark reality was – sending them home as if it was the last day for the end of the school year…ALL personal items, medications, and any work materials went home.

Friday became a planning day, by teams, to build out curriculum outlines and identify resources for the extended absence. I worked the next 40 hours, with a 6 hour nap, to create digital and paper packets for all 28 of my students. The goal…..all optional, only practice, and no new learning. With the help of my sweetie, all students had complete paper packets, all files were posted digitally for my students and the packet was posted to my public site for families.

We delivered my packets to school, ready for pick-up Monday morning. The goal was for parents to be able to pick up packets the week of March 16. The morning of the 16th, however, the district had to close down all buildings no employees or parents allowed into the buildings.

I check in several times daily with my students and the updates across the counties in my state. In the meantime….making something beautiful, in the midst of chaos, becomes imperative for me. I have managed to finish a quilt for my husband. I also am working on my small purses for my donations stash.

My students are my children….there was no preparing for them to suddenly be gone. My prayer is that none will be lost nor any of their family members. I wonder every moment about how they are doing and hope to see them soon. We talk a lot about ACES ….I wonder how this will affect them for life.

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