A blessing for the start of the pandemic school year

A poem: Grace for school time

A blessing for grace as we all: students, parents, teachers and public, move towards the beginning of school in September.

Blessed are the teachers who will receive children who haven’t been in the classroom for months–

a few who are caught up or even ahead,

and many who feel hopelessly behind.

May these teachers have grace for themselves with overwhelming and shifting policies, anxious students, a gazillion learning needs, and elaborate scheduling that would challenge a genius.

Blessed are the administrators and the principals who

work to create a safe environment conducive to learning

with wild expectations needed to keep the health of children secure.

As they feel pressure from educators, children, parents and politics, may they have the grace to be human–

to do the best they can do,

and to be ready to laugh at supper and sleep at night.

Blessed are the students who haven’t sat a school desk

or played with classmates at recess since March,

and now return to reconfigured classrooms, strange rules, and instructions for distancing and masks that

test the wills of impish, playful youngsters.

May they have grace to learn how to be students in the age of COVID-19,

overriding natural impulses to jostle, wrestle, and lean over each other to admire art.

May they have the grace to still just be kids, growing, learning, and finding their way in a world that values them.

Blessed are the parents who agonize for these children’s best interests when no choice is the clear right one.

When returning them to school is exposing them and, by extension, everyone in the family bubble to the virus;

keeping them at home deprives them of antics with their pals,

skilled instruction from a teacher,

and learning opportunities parents cannot provide.

May they have grace to make the least worst decision knowing they did the best they could.

Blessed are all those involved with special needs children:

parents who have needed a break and haven’t had the vital respite needed to reset their spirits;

teachers and assistants who have missed their exceptional students and worried about how the absence of instruction will affect their future, .

May they have grace for kids who regress and struggle with the chaos in their world.

Grace to the kids of all ages who can’t wrap their heads around what the grownups can hardly understand.

Blessed are the public health officials who look at the science of now to divine the guidelines for next week

during a time where what we know today will pale in comparison to the knowledge of next month.

May we all have the grace to allow public policy to shift course as trends shift and novel insights become known.

May we have the grace for ourselves as we absorb the impact of the changes on spirits already depleted by months of precautions.

Blessed is the public who roll with changing predictions and guidance,

the weariness of restrictions aching in our bones

and nowhere near yet done.

May we have kind grace for ourselves and each other as we struggle with the anxiety of shifting phases

and trip over competing needs as we all pursue health in body and spirit.

Blessed are we all as we face a fall of unknowns,

innocent sniffles that are treated as potential calamity,

becoming comfortable with uncomfortable masks.

May we have the grace to know we all struggle,

we all strive,

we all love,

we all want what’s best.

Carolyn Klassen

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *