Over the past days, which now total near weeks (a week and a half, plus one weekend, to be exact), we have not been together.
This has been hard. Really hard.
And over these days and weeks, your teachers, and educational assistants, and custodial staff, and bus drivers, and resource teachers and support, and breakfast program volunteers, and school counsellors, and principals, and vice principals, and substitute teachers, and instructional coaches, and support staff, and youth workers, and volunteers of every kind: we have missed you.
Sometimes, we see you walking down the road with your parents or playing in your yards, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine; and it is like our long-lost friend just showed up from a distant journey— we are that excited to see your smiling faces!
Sometimes, we see you in the grocery store, and you wave to us from the adjacent grocery aisles as we shop: together, yet so far apart.
We notice you!
And sometimes we see you in videos we have shared with you (and you with us); we see you— through your parent’s FaceBook posts that tell of memories and happy times, in pictures we have saved from collections we have made together, as well as on the walls of the schools when we as teachers come to collect our belongings and supplies for the days ahead.
We care about you. We really do!
Sometimes we hear your voices: while on the phone, while your car is parked in the driveway—as well as carried over the fields and lawns as you play with your families or in recordings we have made together.
We heard you before, and we still hear you now.
And not just sometimes, but ALWAYS: we miss you.
We miss your smiles as you come into our schools, ready for a new day of learning.
We miss your morning greetings at the entrance doorway and your friendly banter.
We miss your chats in the hallway, on the playground, and in the classroom.
We miss your faces and your laughter and your silly ways!
We miss teaching you, working with you, and learning with you.
And we miss having you as part of our lives.
Over the days to come, we will be working hard, as your educators and school team, to make sure that we are doing everything we can, to ensure that you have what you need to learn and grow, right where you are.
Learning can happen anywhere: in your yard while playing in the snow, in a car as you look for bears and flowers and other fun little treasures, at the kitchen table as you read and write, and on the floor with a pile of LEGO.
Your mind is capable of growing and developing anywhere, so don’t forget to feed your growing brain with lots of time for creativity and amazing thinking. This time you have, right now, is precious! Enjoy the opportunities you have to learn about your world and the people that matter to you most.
Read a book.
Paint a picture.
Write a story.
Build a model.
Design something new.
You can do this! You have everything you need right inside your amazing brain and incredible mind.
And while you are busy doing that work of creating and learning, of reading and writing: keep in mind that the stories you are composing in your minds about today’s adventures, will be the stories you will share with us all, when you return.
We can’t wait for that day.
We, your educators and school friends and staff: we are rooting for you and your families. We hope for nothing but health, safety and peace for all your lives. YOU mean the world to us.
You are so important and valued and loved.
Never forget, you are our kids.
And each one of you, will always be just that.
A special part of our school family.
See you soon, my friends!