I have the privilege of teaching at Joseph Case High School in Swansea, and I have enjoyed every day there.
The tumult induced by the coronavirus pandemic in March was difficult, but this year’s experience of the so-called hybrid format is even more so. Everything is new: We engage with students in a much less personal way; we use trial and error to explore new software to facilitate the virtual portion of our learning; and the combination of schedule changes and COVID-19 safety precautions restricts severely the interactions among faculty and students.
We are exhausted amid this maelstrom of change precisely because everything is different. None of our established routines are useful this year. Despite this, we continue to prepare for MCAS testing, school recertification, and teacher evaluations. We soldier on.
I doubt that I’d have returned to work during the pandemic if I’d been eligible for retirement. That would have been my loss because I would not have witnessed the saving grace displayed by our students throughout all of this. They are considerate, patient, respectful, and flexible, and they have followed COVID precautions cheerfully. They are truly our hope for the future.
David M. Pasquariello
The writer is head of the science department at Joseph Case High School.