Dear Together Friends, Fans, and Family,[author’s note: This was supposed to land with you Monday morning, but then second grader sent home with sore throat, PCR testing obtained, and is now my helper at home all week.]
Hi. How are you all? Flourishing? Languishing? In the In-Between Times? I’m . . . all of the above. But what I’m NOT doing is telling people how grateful I am to “return to normal” because. . .
I was deeply struck by my former manager’s recent reflection based on reflections from those who have lost someone to COVID. Nicole says, “We know everyone is excited to have vaccines and the ability to return to our routines again. But as I’ve said for the last 14 months, please be gentle with your people who’ve lost someone to COVID…it’s incredibly complicated.”
A member of Nicole’s group shared, “Although I realize most of the United States is excited to get ‘back to normal’ in this pandemic, I don’t think the news agencies really understand how triggering and awful this is for people who have lost someone to COVID. We are literally suffering from PTSD. First our loved one died alone, horribly, no funeral could be held in many cases, no normal grieving process in lockdown. Then the daily deluge of COVID in every news media story or situation. We can literally not go or do anything without the constant reminders. Top this off with the awful, ignorant, disrespectful comments we hear constantly about Covid being a hoax or not that bad or mask-wearing is stupid. This is equivalent to a war vet hearing gunfire, right over his head, several times a day, for months and months. PLEASE, quit using the phrase “back to normal”. There are 600,000+ families whose lives will never again be normal. We are suffering, and it feels like no one cares. Thank you for listening.”
[Maia wipes her eyes and re-focuses]
In my own “return to things that recenter me,” I came out of the extrovert gate HARD, hosting a birthday party, headed back to Nats Park, welcoming back my book club (our June read is here), closing out the year with my Girl Scouts, sharing a dessert board and homemade sangria with my neighbors, but I’m also still just . . . tired? I think the Pandemic Pivot of my life’s work just caught up with me.
I’m eager to load the kiddos, bikes, and a million Together Tubs into the Pilot for our annual journey to my homeland. Stay tuned for photos of six kids (not all mine!), three adults, and coastal adventures. It won’t be a great offlining, but it’ll do!
Two other things happening in the Together-verse!
- The Together Teacher 2nd Edition is ready for pre-order!
- We are HIRING! Yes, indeed! A full job description is posted here, but we need a flexible, cheerful, detail-oriented, customer-service focused human to join our team. This is a great opportunity for behind-the-scenes Together Group learning!
PS Absolutely unrelated to ANYTHING, but never, ever, ever let your children order this. Quite possibly my biggest parenting-fail to date.
Together Treasure Box (From the Blog!)
- Sometimes you have to get it Together tomorrow. Maia shares here how she knows when it’s time to call it.
- Starting to set next school year’s goals? Take a look at this example of team priority planning!
- Begin your summer prep here! This letter to Maia is a helpful start if you’re not sure where to start getting ready for your next school year.
Top Together Tributes
- Top Summer Reads: Get ready to read with this teacher reading list including ideas for development, self-care, technology, and equity!
- Top Juneteenth Lesson Ideas: Educate your students about Juneteenth with lesson ideas and materials found here.
- Top Pride Month Plans: Celebrate inclusive classroom communities with these educational resources.
- Top Resiliency Reflections: Reflect and revive with these questions.
Click here to reserve your Together (Online) Training for this summer. We have 2, 4, and 6-hour versions ready to go! And we are ready to come back to you this fall! Let us know!