We’re in this together

They say hindsight is 20-20. If that isn’t the truth, I don’t know what is anymore! I recall a week or so ago reading all the memes and comments on Facebook about the time change, full moon and Friday the 13th being all in one week, and how we would survive. We talk about these things, usually giggling, because we know we will survive what comes with those crazy weeks.

And you know something; we will survive this, too!

Since the announcement on Sunday afternoon that our schools would be closed, I have seen, heard and read some amazing things. But, I have to be honest, I’m not surprised.

I’m not surprised that when I asked for help, I had more than 100 people volunteering within 45 minutes of sending the email.

I’m not surprised that food services workers went into schools, voluntarily, to help make sure our students were fed.

I’m not surprised that para-educators, teachers, secretaries and staff stood in the cold, rain, snow, wind and, while practicing social distancing, handed out lunches and hoped to catch a glimpse of a student or two.

I’m not surprised that teachers were worried that their lessons weren’t going to reach all of their kids – and worried about how some of their kids were even going to get their work, let alone complete it.

I’m not surprised that staff came in, voluntarily, to help teachers prepare, copy, organize and take a deep breath.

I’m not surprised staff spent time calling and reaching out to families to help them navigate these challenging times, and checking to see what they may need at home.

I’m not surprised to hear that there have been tears, worry and fear from staff – and not for themselves, but about their students.

I’m not surprised that the questions have been “how can I help” or “what do we need to do.”

None of this surprises me. Not at all. This is what you do every day in your schools, in your classrooms and in your small groups. This is just who you are.

As a dad of two boys in this district, I am so proud to have my boys attending their public schools

As a teacher in this district, I have been so fortunate to work beside some of the finest educators, and more importantly, learn from them. I have said this before, and I’m being completely honest – without the support of my team and the para-educators that worked with me in the early years, I would not have survived through my second year of teaching.

As the president of the Nashua Teachers’ Union, I am humbled and honored to be the leader of such a dedicated group of people. Show me another profession where you’re given the task that you were given, and have it be ready to go so quickly. Your love and devotion to your craft is second to none!

On Monday, we enter into the world of distance learning. It isn’t going to be easy, there will be challenges, there may be tears, there may be frustration and you bet your bottom dollar that it won’t be perfect, and guess what, that’s OK. I want you to know that, not only do you have my support, but you have the support of 1,500 or so NTU members, the administration and this community. The praise and love I have read about all of you from parents is ENDLESS!!!

At the end of the day, you will make decisions in the best interests of your students, just like you always do.

Remember, I’ve got your back, take care of yourself and we will be stronger for what we’ve been through. We’re in this together.

With much pride and admiration;