Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope you are well. It seems a little odd to think about giving thanks during a year that is filled with so many challenges. However, Thanksgiving is ultimately about expressing gratitude, so I feel compelled to reflect on what I am grateful for these past few months.
I am thankful that every day I can see students in the building even though it takes me a moment to figure out who said hi to me because they are all wearing masks.
I am thankful that I am able to be with students and hear the “middle school things” they have to say to me. For example, there is an 8th grader who enjoys the school lunches so much that he feels compelled to give me in depth descriptions of each meal he has eaten. There is a sixth grader who somehow always finds me during the day so he can share a fun fact he has read on the internet. Lastly, I enjoy hearing a 7th grade student describing the system she has put in place to help her determine which mask she would wear each day she is in school.
I am thankful for the resiliency that the remote teachers are exhibiting when they have to manage Zoom and other technical issues that are beyond their control and to figure out on the fly class management issues they never had to contend with during in-person instruction.
I am thankful for all the in-person teachers and staff who have to put aside their worries about contracting the virus and put forth their best efforts to ensure they are delivering the best instruction possible.
I am thankful for members of our administrative team and every teacher and staff member who has volunteered their time to cover classes and take on additional duties because we are short staffed almost every day.
I am thankful for our nurses who are on duty every weekend to help with the contact tracing effort. I am grateful for the fact they are willing to put themselves at risk every time they have to treat students with COVID symptoms.
I am thankful for our custodial and building services staff for working tirelessly to ensure every inch of our building is clean and disinfected and to maximize the limited amount of space we have to ensure we can accommodate as many in-person students as we can.
I am thankful for all our mental health professionals for supporting all our students and staff and helping them manage the additional levels of stress and anxiety that are created by the pandemic.
I am thankful for the McCall Parent Association and all the parents and guardians out there who continue to provide the school and its staff with financial and emotional support during this difficult school year.
I am thankful for all the parents and guardians out there who are working so hard to support their students during the at home days so they can access the teachers’ remote instructions and the asynchronous work the students have been assigned to do.
I would like to end by sharing this CBS News segment on offering thanks during the pandemic. In it, a gentleman named Gabriel offered this thought to the reporter:
“I'm going to have an amazing Thanksgiving all by myself. I will sit on a park bench, and I will think about the great Thanksgivings that I've had in my life and be thankful for them. One bad Thanksgiving out of 63 amazing Thanksgivings – that's pretty good odds. Maybe we should be a little more thankful for what we do have than constantly be complaining about what we don't have.”
The entire segment is included here.
Given all the reports regarding the increased rate of infections across the country, it is likely our work educating the students will become more challenging before it becomes easier. I think it is important that we continue to focus on what we are able to accomplish with the limited amount of resources we have as opposed to lamenting what we are not able to do with the resources we wish we have but are not available to us at this moment.
Thank you for your continued support, and I wish everyone a great Thanksgiving.
McCall Middle School