It was Friday the 13th, 2020. Several of my friends across the country had posted that their schools were shut down overnight for two weeks. Our district was still making plans for a workshop the following week, while teachers were wondering what was going to happen next.
I knew in my heart we were not coming back the next week. There were too many unknowns to keep operating like “business as usual”. So I posted this to Facebook before school that morning:
That last line was added when I was told I might be “scaring people” and was asked to take it down. And it was true, I didn’t have any inside information, I just wanted our kiddos to have books in their homes in case they couldn’t get them from school.
I rifled through the piles and shelves of books in my house, filling shopping bags and brought about 100 to school with me. I added my collection of ARCs to them and piled a library cart full that I took from room to room. I invited students to choose 2 or 3 books they would like to read at home. No panic. Just book love.
I will never know if they were read, and I haven’t seen these books again. But I felt better in the coming weeks and months knowing these kiddos had books to keep them company.
We could never have imagined a year ago today how much our world would change, how different teaching and learning would look. I hope that knowledge empowers us to realize we can do hard things. Change is a constant, it just usually doesn’t occur so fast and furious, but I believe we will be stronger and more resilient in facing whatever comes in the next year. We can only begin to imagine what that will look like.