Friday, May 8, 2020

#poemsofpresence #shelterinpoems

This mouse is how
I reach you
roll   point    click
This screen is how
I touch you
flat    cold     far

Teacher hat on today: The state of Maryland has put out suggestions about what school may look like when we return to our school buildings:

"Today, daily school operations will likely include increased health and hygiene measures such as wearing masks, temperature checks, hand-washing, frequent sanitation, and social distancing, especially for elementary students. In addition, elementary playground areas may be marked for social distancing along with areas within schools. ...
Reduced class sizes may be expected to become the norm, consisting of students placed in the smallest classes possible with desks that are placed six feet apart. ...Special areas such as art, health, and physical education may be offered remotely via video chat along with parent/teacher conferences, discipline conferences, 504, and IEP meetings."

As my friend Jake Russo points out, this will be not only unworkable, but detrimental if not abusive to young children. THE MAIN POINT of school is "social studies"--learning to live in community to develop the skills needed to participate in the society. Even if you cynically admit that we care less about social studies than a) every other content area and b) school as state-provided child care to support employment and economic functions, it is impossible to effectively teach elementary students without physical closeness including touch. 

It's now 4pm and getting late for Poetry Friday, so I'll stop hoping that I can add anything uplifting or sheltering---WAIT!

Here's the #shelter part:

click on this:
the certainty that
not one of us will participate
they can't fire us all

Thanks to Michelle for hosting us today at Today's Little Ditty.  Be as well as you can, friends.


  1. Oh, Heidi, the weight of all of this under the orders of politicians has really been wearing on me. At the beginning of all this I had the silly notion that this time of quarantine would have an end...we could, would get past it and it would be something we remembered. But, the truth is....people that don't know kids continue to make decisions based on their needs. Kids serving the school rather than the school serving the kids. They can't fire us all...but it might be miserable for all. I need some happy music to get out of my grump.

    1. This one is working for me: "We Can Hide Out"

  2. I keep telling myself that positive changes can happen between now and then. But the only thing I know for sure is that I disagree with restaurants and retail stores opening up all around me (too soon!) and I'm dreading what's going to happen in the next 2-4 weeks, let alone the next 2-4 months. Meanwhile, my daughter holds out hope that she only misses her senior year of HS and not her freshman year of college as well. So sad. :(

  3. Oh, Heidi. This post is so heavy and so real. "flat cold far" Your poems hit such notes of sorrow and despair. This is all so overwhelming.

  4. I'm trying to hold out hope for the fall. We not only have school to think about but a wedding. Our district sent out a survey to parents about technology and guess how they sent it? Yep, a link. What does that say about our sensitivity to those without access? It's hard enough to keep connection at the end of a school year, but to start one up without face to face, hand to hand contact will be terrible.

  5. I'm trying to breathe. Trying so hard. Mostly, I just glance at the future and then quickly look away.

    Today I will see if I can get my sewing machine to work, and if all fails, see if mom's still works. (Holding out more hope for hers, and wanting to channel her love into the wardrobe of masks I will make once my time frees up in a week or two.) But first I will make a carrot cake for my friend's birthday. We will have her party on Zoom, but THERE WILL BE CARROT CAKE FOR ALL! "they can't fire us all" and they can't stop our traditions!

  6. It continues to be hard to imagine what you all are going through now even though I was a teacher, sat many times close to a student, to teach, to comfort, to inspire (I hope). Now through the lens of my granddaughters, 11 & 8, & they are fed & do have plenty of tech availabilities. The older one is doing okay, not great, but she is running with her dad, can manage her work well, etc. The younger one is breaking down, usually loves playing by herself, can be active, too, outside, but she cried with me on Thursday saying she misses her friends, her teacher, even going to the grocery store! We have decided the girls need to return to their visits with me. We all have been nowhere except my daughter to get groceries. It's time to do this for the girls. Heidi, thank you for sharing. I expect Colorado will be much the same.

  7. It's so hard. I'm trying not to look too far ahead. That way lies madness. But every time I think of it, my stomach hurts.

  8. Everytime I think about what's happening with schools, my heart hurts. The children, the teachers, the difficult for all. Thank you for all you do for your students. Happy Mother's Day, Heidi!

  9. I'm sorry, Heidi. I wish I could offer more than sorry. This is an impossible situation. Breathe and enjoy your peeps on Mother's Day. :)

  10. Teachers! I am sending so much love to all of you. I don't know what the answer IS, but you have certainly shown us what it isn't. Thank you, Heidi.

  11. Sending armfuls of support, in our surreal world, you are making a difference and helping Heidi. While my online art students are at the opposite end of the spectrum in age, all our students share a desire to connect, and if some of us carry a torch to continue this connection we may not touch all but may touch some. Thanks for your poems and all you're doing, xo


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!