There is an exhaustion that comes from the stay at home order we have been under. There is a new kind of tired we confront from the unstructured hours that fill our days. After the jolt of adrenaline that comes from mustering courage and adjusting routine, comes the exhaustion of trying to be still, of waiting. We must patiently battle the pandemic with an odd set of weapons: physical distancing, washing our hands, and allowing time to run its course.
It is tempting, as we sit at home, to want to run into school, to be in a place of comfort and familiarity. It is tempting to want to just take a moment to make sure everything is where we left it or to take 5 minutes and go and gather things we left in the building. How could it hurt, what harm is there in one trip, one visit, one moment of reconnection?
And yet, each of us knows better. Each of us knows that we are relying on one another to keep the spread of this pandemic from growing. Each of us has never been more interdependent within this community than we are at this very moment. The actions of each of us individually profoundly impact the well-being of our whole country.
While we try to engage in life in as normal a manner as is possible, we know in our hearts that the Roeper community is not immune to the hardship caused by the Coronavirus. Like much of Wayne and Oakland Counties, we have families and friends who have been affected by this illness. They need our support, our love, our kindness, and our care.
We can try to persuade ourselves that we are in our homes working or going to school, but what we are experiencing is not simply school at the comfort of our kitchen tables. We continue to work to keep our minds engaged and our spirits strong, but we must not delude ourselves to think that what is happening is home schooling, distance learning, or teleworking.
What we are doing right now is something different. So, let’s call this what it is: Covid-19 Schooling; or better yet, as one writer in Georgia called it, Teaching and Learning in Covid-19.
In less than a month’s time everything we know about how we teach and learn seems to have required adjustment. School buildings are shut, and educators are being called upon to reimagine what their profession looks like from a distance. Teachers who thrive on the connection and relationship contained within our philosophy today find themselves asking how they can engage with students who are limited to the spaces of their own homes. “There is no “transforming” face-to-face teaching and learning into Covid-19 teaching and learning overnight. And even if that was possible, doing so might not make sense in this time of national and global emergency. “ (Atlanta Journal Constitution, Downey, April 1, 2020)
As we shift into this new chapter of the pandemic, please hold closely to our Roeper core values, our strength in community, and the unwavering knowledge that each of us is doing our best to do our best. We can do this. We can help each other through these difficult days if we just hold onto a few guiding principles, and the love we have for each other and this community.
Stay safe and stay healthy,
Guiding Principles for The Roeper Home Learning Program in this Second Semester
It will be imperfect: the singularity of our circumstances requires a substantial adjustment in pace, content, and/or outcomes for classes. As these adjustments are made, we are committed to regular communication, as well as flexibility and creativity, as we seek to bring this school year to a successful close.