I have gotten so much good information through our school’s commitment to stay connected. Today, I opened up our weekly newsletter, Welcome to the Week (or WTTW to those in the know), and saw this lovely message to our teachers from our Assistant Head of Lower School, Mrs. Quintero. It read:
Teachers, may this be the banner we fly:
Grace before Grades.
Relationships before Rigor.
Patience before Programs.
Love before Lessons.
As everyone is at home now, sheltering-in-place, we are all teachers, aren’t we?
Mrs. Q’s words really reached me. Just this morning, via phone, I talked my 89 year old mother quarantined in her retirement home, how to stream church from her computer. We had all sorts of challenges, including buffering, volume, and log in fails. I could hear her frustration and frantic mood as her first attempts were unsuccessful. She was so ready to throw in the towel, and she was so disappointed because the barrier between Palm Sunday and her ability to worship was vast and real. I probably didn’t exhibit much grace but I was patient, and I was determined she would gain access to something hopeful instead of the endless loop of CNN updates she had no problem being fed. Once I heard the sermon in the background, I gave my two kids sitting at our breakfast bar a huge fist pump. We hung up and all were able to ask forgiveness for our debts and forgive our debtors. (Full disclosure, my breakfast bar resembled something closer to a greasy spoon diner, with papers, YouTube videos, and Tik Tok dance breaks competing for attention than any type of House of Worship.)
A Pandemic teaches us two things; it teaches us about the bad things out there and about the ways in which we respond. So, the little lesson that I picked up at Charlotte Latin this week, is that grace, relationships, patience and love, are just as important as finding one designated place to do your work or staying up to date on tasks. I’d also add it makes sense to put value on the baby step successes. While I did manage to get Mom to stream church today, I didn’t quite have the wherewithal to teach her how to make the little video box expand to the full screen. She had to pass the peace in a three inch box which makes me feel like I didn’t accomplish all that I could. But, it looks like this shelter-in-place is going to last a while, so there is always next week, and after church she Facetimed (by mistake, but a happy one at that) and she was laughing and waving to all my folks at our honky-tonk breakfast bar.