- Ricka Robb Kohnstamm
What is no longer invisible to you?
As my days become less frenzied and more structured, my mind is settling. I have noticed that the fog obstructing my vision is clearing, in some places, and I can see things that used to be invisible to me.
While I have been generally aware of the struggle within our public education system, many parts are largely invisible to me, primarily because of my privilege. And I own that.
I am aware of the struggle within school districts to provide quality education for a very diverse student body. I hear about how difficult it is to teach with limited resources. I know that many children are food insecure and do not have adequate parental supervision. My daughter, who teaches second grade in a Title 1 school Washington, D.C. school tells me about her struggles to keep her young scholars and their parents connected in tight to the district-mandated curriculum, particularly when basic needs are not being met within the family.
And then comes COVID-19.
And a chance to step into my daughter's classroom.
Suddenly many important things became visible to me.
What I see is the high academic bar that this district is setting for our youngest scholars, of the challenging job teachers have everyday in the classroom - let alone teaching online, and the importance of a feelings-literate, whole-hearted teacher. It also deepened my awareness about the importance of internet and technology availability for all students, increased my compassion for parents who are trying to parent, work and home-school, and sharpened my empathy for school administrators who are responsible for leading and holding all of this together.
With increased visibility comes an opportunity for me to re-align my behavior - perhaps through a more thorough reading of legislative action, increasing my financial support for classroom supplies for struggling educators, or offering complimentary coaching to several educators who are stretched thin.
Why does it matter if I actively look for things that used to be invisible to me? Because seeing the full picture provides more insight, opportunity, and balance.
What I choose to see helps determine my actions. And actions, aligned with values, supports optimal health.