By Lisa McCleish, Director of Early Childhood Programs
Last March, the Parents’ Day Out and Preschool Program left on a Friday, ready for a week spring break, and didn’t re-open until June 1, over 10 weeks later. COVID.
Admittedly, the staff were unprepared to be closed due to a pandemic. Like every other teacher, we had to provide remote learning for children (knowing that ZOOM calls with infants and toddlers would be less than wonderful), with all of our supplies still in the classrooms, with a host of technological challenges, and with every child and family needing different support.
Each week, the teachers would talk with their co-teacher, participate in small groups or as part of an all staff ZOOM meeting. We brainstormed, we reflected on successes and lamented what hadn’t worked, we made decisions and we offered advice to each other. Inevitably, the conversation would turn to apologies for the myriad of reasons–forgetting to include someone on an email, not returning a voicemail, internet or phone connection issues…
More than halfway through the shut-down, a small group of us were on a ZOOM and I was the one profusely apologizing for a communication issue. Miss Leslie waited for me to finish, then reminded all of us, “Listen, we are all in this together and everyone is doing the best they can. Let’s all stop apologizing for what hasn’t worked and just remember to offer grace.”
Today, tomorrow, always: