The first week of school-at-home did not go without glitches. Indeed the Internet was a busy thoroughfare trafficking funny, sanity-saving, but all too-true memes of parental frustration with and adjustment to the complications of forced home schooling.
But that it happened at all is a testament to the dedication of our school staff to their respective duties as educators and teachers and, of course, to their love of their young pupils and their students. In a matter of a few, urgently charged days systems were put into place. Most of the wrinkles were straightened out and “formal” learning resumed.
Our children are to be praised and hugged when hugging is allowed again; parents are to be commended and supported; and teachers applauded and thanked.
Paul Bernstein, CEO of Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools published an article this week on the eJewishPhilanthropy website in which he describes the challenges inherent in the quick turnaround to “virtual” learning. He also praises the schools and the families for the quick, effective, values-laden switchover to school-at-home.
“Too often, people are quick to find fault with their schools, missing the beauty of learning, and the values, as well as the social and emotional strength that schools foster in their children,” Bernstein writes. “Right now, we see our schools at their very best, dedicated to their students and families, delivering the best possible learning in adversity. Our day schools are leading the field of education with their innovations, which we are proud to share within our community, and beyond. They continue to offer a remarkable blend of secular and Jewish education, cultivating the brilliance of the next generation of vibrant Jewish learners, leaders, and community members. And, as any great school does, they are sensitive to the social and emotional needs of the children and their families during this vulnerable time.
“As we fight through this global pandemic, we are grateful to those who dedicate themselves to our health, and our safety. Please join me to say a special thank you to our children’s teachers, to the administrators, to the support staff, and to the volunteers, who ensure our schools are the beating heart of Jewish life.”
Bernstein ends his essay with hopes and wishes that we all share: “Let us wish refuah shleimah, speedy and complete recovery, to all those who are suffering and ill, as well as strength and good health to our communities as a whole.”
Shabbat shalom. Stay safe. Be well. Stay well.