A slight crackle and the loudspeaker came to life. It sliced through the calm in my classroom, interrupting my lesson. Oh right, I thought, we knew about this. Leaning back in my chair from which I had been conducting my reading lesson, I cast my eyes to the clock. Exactly 2:10 p.m., just like she’d told us in her email. Dark clouds rolled in outside. I could see them through my window.
Suddenly, my principal’s voice through the P.A. system. “Good afternoon,” she began. I glanced over at my student seated next to me. He remained quiet, subdued. Our principal commenced to explain what will happen over the next couple of days. Her tone was direct, but calm. Thursday will be a late start for students, allowing time for teachers to train on various necessary technology that might be used for distance learning, should that become a necessity. Friday, already a scheduled early-release day for professional development, will now be used as planning and team time.
Our principal went on to provide as much reassuring information as possible: we are in contact with health officials; be sure to wash your hands; that sort of thing.
During times of disaster, uncertainty, or, in this case, pandemic, a question always arises: How much should we shield our children from darkness? Today, I appreciated our principal. Kids are smart. They know something is going on. So in the role of educators, shouldn’t we act as steadfast voices of information?