Watch television, and you'll see it all over the place: in the news, the commercials, the shows.
Pick up a church bulletin, read an email, look at every other post on social media, and sure enough, it's there.
Sit in a faculty meeting, a classroom, the bus barn, an IEP meeting, a job interview, and you should already know the opening remarks.
It's posted on the front door of every business, government facility, museum, hospital, store, restaurant, barber shop, church building, and school.
Call it whatever you want - Coronavirus, COVID-19, C19, the pandemic, the lockdown, the situation we have endured for over a year, the great demon - it's everywhere.
Wear a mask.
Stay socially distanced.
People are raked over the coals for resisting. People are castigated for breaking the bubble. People are called names for giving in.
And did I mention, it's everywhere?
Are you are tired of it as I am?
Now, after teaching in person for almost the whole school year, I can say that it has been a terrific year for me. I don't want to diminish all of the things that have happened in my life, but educationally speaking, our class has really been a source of inspiration. I introduce my class to a teacher as the best, and the kids seem to agree.
What initiated this tirade? The latest issue of School & Community from the Missouri State Teachers Association is usually the source of a wide variety of articles that can help its educator-members, but in the last year, the magazine has decided that we need more of the same - more articles that begin with the obvious: "This year has been different." Consider:
- Page 4, Connected (president's article): "Before COVID-19..."
- Page 5, 2021 MSTA Education Policy Priorities: "Missouri educational professionals have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic..."
- Page. 6, Are You Working or on Leave?: "Plenty of schools now have AMI days..."
- Page 7, A Note from the Editor: "I hope...all school employees will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19..."
- Pages 8-11, The Importance of Reading: "Depression and anxiety over Covid have completely drained my energy..."
- Pages 14-15, Take Care of Yourself to Finish Strong: "It's hard to believe how much education and educators were forced to change this past year..."
- Pages 16-17, How Virtual Teaching Changed my Teaching Career: "Who would have thought that during my 33rd year of teaching I would be...teaching vitually..."
- Pages 20-21, Students Learn to Master Life Skills During Pandemic: "...I received a message from a non-teacher friend who said, "kids have lost a solid year of development."...
- Pages 22-23, Finding Purpose in Retirement: "Times are stressful with COVID in the world..."
- Pages 24-25, AMI Days and the Specials Team: "As schools are learning to continuously adapt to various teaching strategies due to the pandemic..."
- Page 31, comic: "It was really weird being taught from home..."
- Page 36-37, Putting Things Back in the "Normal Sequence"...: "After a year like the one we are wrapping up..."
- Page 42, Win-Win: MSTA's Leadership Conference is Going HYBRID!: "If you're not ready for in-person attendance..."
- Page 43, Training for New Professionals: "If conditions require social distancing..."
- Page 47, Distance Learning in 1956: Teaching by Telephone: "As article in the April 1956 School & Community discusses school-to-home teaching devices."
- Back Cover, A Note from Bunker Hill: "After a crazy last year..."
I ask again, "Are you as tired of it as I am?" Is there a way to write an article without sticking in a conditional statement about difficulties everyone has faced in 2020/1? It occurs to me that the media would help our trauma-informed teaching by trying harder not to saturate citizens, teachers, families, and kids with non-stop comments about something that adds to trauma. We do not ignore the issues at hand, but I would prefer moderation.