Slice of Life Story Challenge 2020 Day 13

Today, March 13th, 2020, I’m participating in Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Story Challenge.

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?

Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

12 thoughts on “Slice of Life Story Challenge 2020 Day 13”

  1. In so many ways, I think children are handling this better than the adults around them. They are watching. They are listening. It is great your leader took the time to talk to them directly. I love how you add mood and tone through word choice and setting. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those dark clouds…what a symbol. Our administrators are going through so much behind the scenes right now. I know I’m grateful for how our principal has guided us through all of this. Good luck to your teams today as you plan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We got word yesterday afternoon that we were closing today and until 3/30. I appreciate how my principal is keeping us in the know and how calm he was with the kids.


  4. I wish we would have given our kids that information, but even the teachers were told after we had gone home yesterday not to return until March 23 at least. It’s rough knowing the kids were completely unprepared

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lanny, strange times are here, dark clouds roll in figuratively and realistically as news spreads and awareness is heightened. Reassuring students is so important because we do not know what is being said or what they are hearing. I love the introduction of the word sliced and the sound words at the beginning of your post. They bring a sense of immediacy to what follows. It is in these strange times that we need leaders to provide direction and a sense of calm.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, adults should “act as steadfast voices of information.” I’m a proponent of honesty, and yes, kids know something is going on. Sometimes I think the “shield kids from all the bad things in the world” parenting style has had the unintended consequence of raising a generation of uninformed, unengaged adults.

    Liked by 1 person

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