Let’s Talk ESP Blog: Perspectives
By Gail Kablau
So much has happened since my last blog. The siege at the Capitol, the swearing in of a new President and history making Vice-President, a second impending impeachment trial for the previous President, COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out, and our own State of Wisconsin legislators are trying to undermine the Governor’s mask mandate at a time when all of the scientific experts are telling us how critically important it is to continue to wear them, even after you get the vaccine.
And now, in my own school District, students are coming back into the buildings to learn in person. Masks need to be 2 or 3-ply, sanitizer in every room, hand washing breaks, distancing, air filtration, protocols for eating lunch, burden rates, positivity rates, quarantines, synchronous/asynchronous/virtual/hybrid learning – who thought these would become part of our daily vocabulary in public education. My head is truly spinning – OK, it’s always spinning, but now more than ever.
As we continue to navigate our way through all of this, I keep looking for ways to keep a positive perspective. How we approach all of the fear, trepidation, and unknowns is critical in how we come out on the other side of this. And there are important politics going on nationally, state-wide, and locally that play into our ability to keep a positive perspective as our schools re-open.
I am encouraged by the perspective of President Biden’s nominee for Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona. He is a former educator, Principal, and Commissioner of Education in Connecticut. He is committed to re-opening schools safely, increasing mental health resources, respecting the rights of all students, reforming the Office of Federal Student Aid so it works for student borrowers and not corporations, addressing educational inequities head-on, and celebrating diversity. How refreshing!
On the state level, I am encouraged by the number of people who have stepped forward to run for the DPI State Superintendent race. When we have choices, then our perspective changes on what the possibilities are. Voting in the Spring Primary election on February 16th will be critical to advance those to the General Election on April 6th who hold the perspectives we want to see in our State Superintendent. Make sure your voice is heard – vote!
Local perspectives are different for each of us, and it is important to look at your own local School Board races and support the candidates who best support your public schools. Many candidates are running because they are angry with the way their District remained opened or closed during the pandemic. It’s important to remember that the pandemic is a one-time situation, and to keep a perspective on the overall responsibilities of the School Board. Make sure to look at each candidate’s full platform – and don’t just vote for one issue.
In order to stay positive, I try to keep these things in perspective.
- Take one day at a time. Be present today. You can’t change the past, and tomorrow is not guaranteed. Make the best of today.
- Treat others with respect and kindness. You never know what someone else is going through. How you treat people is a reflection of who you are.
- Stop. Look. Listen. Breathe. Be aware of what is going on around me.
Life is all about perspective, but what we see is not always the truth, so we need to stay open and keep re-evaluating. How has your perspective shaped your life? Let’s Talk!
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Gail Kablau is the WEAC Education Support Professional (ESP)-at-Large Board Representative. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.