Each day I try to think of a different way to start my emails to keep them fresh. Each day I keep coming back to, ‘I hope you and your families are well.’ That is the only way to begin. The well-being of you and your family remain the greatest concern.
One of the most difficult tasks of distance learning is balancing commitments to family and to work. I have the fortunate position to hear from both parents and teachers as they navigate these new waters. Many of our teachers are also supporting learning for their own children. Many of our parents are working their own jobs as they support the learning of their children. Parents have taken on a greater role in direct instruction as teachers work to provide engaging lessons while learning new materials, formats, and tech tools. Parents and students are emailing teachers for support and teachers are emailing them back, often connecting with other teachers and school staff to provide additional supports for families. Both parents and teachers are working too much on their computers and the school and workday has crept longer into the evening and overflows into the weekend. While everyone has too much experience with multi-tasking, we are all now multi-tasking in 3D. All of us get to the end of a long day and wonder where did the day go? What did I accomplish?
There is no separation of our work and family worlds. Parents and school staff have always had much in common, but it was often artificially separated into the world of work and the world of school as if there were differences. I hope now we can all see that these worlds are not distinct. I hope that that knowledge results in greater patience, appreciation, and understanding for all of us going through these experiences together. As we look for silver linings in these strange days let us not just find them, let us hold on to them for when it is over.
Belated (and apologetic) Shout Out
Last Wednesday, April 22, was Administrative Professionals Day and I forgot. I am terribly sorry. Please know no slight was intended as I know I speak for everyone in the Fairfield Public Schools when I say that we are deeply dependent on the support of our Administrative Professionals. They make all of us look better, be on time, and keep us organized. They provide guidance, support, and honest feedback. They are usually the first person to pick up the phone at a school and office and they make the first great impressions of FPS. Above all, they help keep us sane. They have always helped me remember important days like Administrative Professionals Day. Without my staff with me daily, I am very likely to forget those important days. And I did forget, entirely my fault. Thank you for all you do and thank you for your continued support during this time of distance learning.
Take care and be well,
Superintendent of Schools
Fairfield Public Schools