Back to School
New York City is moving toward reopening high schools. We’ve been fully remote since November, but reopening dates are being floated and rumors are circulating, as has become common in this era of crisis mismanagement.
The lack of consensus is another common feature. Some believe that schools must reopen for the good of the community. Others feel that we still aren’t ready to confront the realities of face-to-face teaching in the pandemic, even now, nearly a year into it.
I don’t have any deep or important thoughts about reopening high schools. I know there are students, and families, who are not succeeding right now. And I know there are schools that still aren’t prepared to properly handle in-person schooling. Like all complex issues, there’s truth on both sides. And like all issues in education, the public conversation takes form as a high-level policy debate, while the reality of the situation exists at the complex and diverse level of the individual. This is another reason it’s hard to think about education broadly.
When school began in the fall I was reporting to the building. I appreciated the opportunity to see some students and interact with some colleagues. After early challenges, I found a rhythm and a style that was starting to work for me. I was concerned when we went fully remote, worried about trading in that rhythm for a full house and an over-taxed wifi.
Three months later and now I’m used to working from home. I’ve found a rhythm and a style here, and a set up and routine that works. Now I’m worried about going back to school, disrupting that routine, losing what’s working once again.
But I look forward to going back and seeing some students and some colleagues. And offering some small hope that we all might be back to normal someday soon.