We are at a loss

You can probably recall the five stages of grief from your undergraduate psychology class.  I think this perfectly explains what people are going through right now with the Covid-19.

Many of you have been experiencing this for a while. However, my state was one of the last to close their schools.  We are Montana tough, we rarely call a snow day! In my 23 years of teaching, the school has closed twice.

On March 15, 2020 our Governor declared a state emergency and closed our schools for two weeks. He then extended this two additional weeks and just now issued a stay at home order. This is probably sounding very familiar to you.  Deja Vu? So how are we actually handling life right now?  I have my moments, just like you.

Denial

I didn’t want to accept that schools were closed. The following Monday, I was at school working.  I wasn’t told to stay home. I think I was trying to find some normalcy in my life.  I became very isolated and was constantly on my devices, checking news and my social media feeds because what was happening could not REALLY be happening to me. How could stores really not have the essentials? We live in America, the land of riches!

Anger/Bargaining

Then, I became angry with “those” people who made everyone else sick or took all of the toilet paper. It’s their fault! I became so emotional and was thinking about all the others and asking what if’s and saying it’s not fair.  How can they take their senior school year away?

Depression

Have you actually cried this past month? I have, it hurts me to think about my friends losing their jobs or my students stuck in their house without books, internet, and food. I would rather stay in bed, but getting up and trying to do something normal helped me to work through the depression. Going on walks each day has helped me out of my funk. Just remember social distancing while you are enjoying your time out in nature!

Acceptance

No, I’m not totally here yet, but I’m trying. I don’t want to accept the reality of teaching my students remotely. I miss them!

Like I said before, you may be experiencing these stages and we are all doing the best we can.  Over the past few weeks, I have seen amazing things and have learned some important lessons.

First, we all have our strengths and weaknesses.  By working together, we can do what’s best for our students. Next, teachers are amazing!  Within days, they were rolling out online classes.  How awesome is that? Lastly, we have caring individuals who run business, help other people, and go above and beyond. 

To all of you, I say thank you. You have helped me get through this loss.

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About the Author

Teresa Marchant a Teacher Librarian at Lockwood School in Billings, Montana. She has been an educator for 20 years and has served as the Professional Development Committee Chair in her school district and on the board for the Montana Library Association. Additionally, Teresa has been part of team responsible for writing state and local Library Information Literacy standards. She holds a Masters in Educational Technology with an emphasis in Online Instruction from Montana State University as well as a certificate in School Library Media from the University of Washington. She loves learning and enjoys helping others which makes her an awesome school librarian. 

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