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Community, Cooperation, Collective Good: Look for the Helpers

Community, Cooperation, Collective Good: Look for the Helpers
Corinna Crafton

We tell our children and each other that there are silver linings to be found amidst adversity. Our current struggle is a mighty one, the adversary powerful and ruthless. Yet, this war, too, shall pass. 

Community, Cooperation, Collective Good

Look for the Helpers

We tell our children and each other that there are silver linings to be found amidst adversity. Our current struggle is a mighty one, the adversary powerful and ruthless. Yet, this war, too, shall pass. We will see days, perhaps a long way off yet, when COVID-19 has been subdued and a sense of normalcy returns. What of now? What can we do now to ease anxieties, especially amongst young people?

Mr. Rogers often told the story of the comfort and reassurance he received from his own mother when he would hear about scary and upsetting events on the news. She told him to “look for the helpers” reminding young Fred Rogers that there are always folks helping one another, especially during times of great danger or uncertainty. 

Our current struggle against COVID-19 is one such moment. We are no exception to history and find ourselves yearning for comfort within chaos and community whilst restricted to our homes. When we pause to look for the helpers, however, we witness a transcendent moment of grace. If we turn away from our very real and legitimate grief over this situation for a few moments to recognize all the brave souls at work to keep us safe each day and the innovative, creative minds at work on solutions and adaptations to keep us that way, we cannot help but feel grateful to be part of the global community during this time.

The rapid move to distance learning we have all had to make tests us in varied ways. We have worked to learn new technologies at breakneck speed. Many parents and teachers have and continue to juggle working with childcare, seeking creative solutions to balancing the two. Sleep can be elusive and the workload intimidating. In all of this tumult, it may escape our notice that everyone around us is also struggling, also worrying, also navigating with only a partial map of what the coming days hold, for predictions remain elusive. And yet, there is collective power in sharing our struggles with one another. Simply acknowledging that others share your concerns, feel a similar sense of worry and unease can help us carry the burdens we must. Barriers of space and time fade away when we recognize that everyone we know is negotiating their way in the face of this pandemic. We are in this historic time together, albeit from locations across many towns, states, and countries. But in it together, we are, and let us not lose sight of this larger landscape. Students will remember much more about how we made them feel during this time than they will content from any one class. 

This Friday, I’ve invited our Middle School parents to join our Full Division meeting. We have not done so before, but we’ve not been teaching remotely before either. New challenges present new opportunities for connection. Here is another silver lining to our current predicament. Join us on Friday. Watch and learn from our student leaders who will guide us through an activity built around this week’s theme of Gratitude. For now, despite great illness, suffering, and death, there is much to be thankful for and many for whom we should and will give thanks together. As a community. A community for good.

  • Distance Learning