By: Zoë Felfle, Senior; and Ms. Keller, Teacher
In normal circumstances, our #ValuesMatter is our OPEd topic. Our Editor in Chief, this year, Zoë Felfle, “waxes poetic” in writing about her perception or encounters with the #ValuesMatter of the month. The proposed #ValuesMatter for Miami-Dade County Public Schools for April 2020 is “Honesty,” and in light of current events, we feel it is a disjointed #ValuesMatter.
#ValuesMatter that most teachers in Miami and around the world are experiencing is maintaining calm in our lives and providing “normalcy” for our students. As a teacher at iPreparatory Academy in Miami, I am fortunate because our “platform” is technology and many of our daily routines (teaching and learning) are through and with technology. The leap to distance learning wasn’t using Edmodo, Zoom, or Google Classroom; instead, our teaching anxiety is the issue of NOT seeing our students, NOT engaging our students in our classrooms, NOT cheering on their successes, NOT being able to take a student to the side and coach them to do their work and not “slack off,” and NOT knowing if each and every one of them (and their family) is safe/healthy. Even teaching at iPrep where each student has a laptop and MUST take virtual classes and engage with teachers and lessons via the internet, we, teachers, feel bereft without our students. So, representing most teachers, the #ValueThatMatters in this time is #Sympathy. Most of my colleagues have discussed that there is a tenuous line between #Understanding each student’s needs (in this very special time) and going forward with teaching a program with #Rigor (or standards like Advanced Placement). Or, teaching to EVERY student who is in a compromised situation, regardless their situation. This is the tightrope we teachers are treading, #Sympathy, all the while trying to hold ourselves together.
I do not feel that I can speak for my fellow students because each of us has different experiences coping with the pandemic and subsequent quarantine. I can, however, empathize and understand the wishes for all of this to end, so everyone can go outside and talk to friends without having to be behind a screen or a face mask. However, especially now with everything happening around us and the reactions of humanity as a whole, #Sympathy is vital because everyone is coping with COVID-19 in varying ways and everyone is doing their best to survive and power through the quarantine; throughout this difficult time, it is important to remain sympathetic to the people not only staying in their homes for the safety of themselves and others, but also to the healthcare professions and scientists putting their lives on the line in order to staunch the pandemic and help the people who are suffering from the virus. The entire world has gone through a sudden shift in their day to day lives, throwing off the path everyone expected life to take, but even as everyone wants to panic and wants to be afraid, it is vital for everyone to stay calm, communicate how they can with their friends and family, and #Sympathize with the rest of the people doing their part to soften the curve of COVID-19.
Teacher and Flyer Sponsor
Hi! I am a proud Ravenclaw and am always obsessing about one book or another. My current obsession is Ms. Peregrine's Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. (I highly recommend it if you're into magic, WW2, and a blend of two real and magical worlds)!