Thoughts While Waiting for the Board of Education’s Decision of What Will Happen in the Fall

Scott McCloskey


The 5 Es Lesson Plan in the Time of COVID-19

Etymology —
Does school need to be
face-to-face? Does direct
instruction mean we are actually
in the same room, together?
Does school mean “the building,”
the brick and mortar — built
in the 1950s, faulty HVac system —
building? The word school comes
from the Greek meaning leisure
and philosophy and, yes, it also
means lecture place, but the
Google definition mentioned
leisure first, so we’ll highlight
that and besides “where I
lecture” isn’t as important as
where the “learning” takes place:
In the minds of my students. So,
in your face Aristotle — and don’t
get me started on the absurd notion
(and hugely problematic practice)
of requiring all kids to wear uniforms,
to sit up straight at their desks — in their
home offices? — while leaving their
Zoom cameras on.

Entomology —
Which leads me to the question,
what do these people — the over
200 people in this Zoom,
their little faces — or, as in this case
over 80% have their own cameras off —
just white names on black backgrounds —
what do these people think happens
In a school? Do they think we are all
Just worker ants, marching along,
lock step, all curricular activities
the same, being met and performed the
same way. Or to put it another way,
do they have this collective hive mind
thinking schools are safe because
they read it in their Facebook feed?

Ecology —
Have they never met a teenager
or a group of them working in
concert? Do they not remember
the PDAs In the hallways, the sitting
together outside classrooms, the
packed stairwells. Students
clump. They cluster. They take
back their agency when they can
to oppose the dreaded seating charts
and forced group work so often
imposed upon them.

Epidemiology —
And yet everyone now is an
expert on this disease, on
The effectiveness of masks
or face coverings, and yet,
still, we see so many people
wearing them incorrectly,
noses out, just hanging in the
wind, — or, perish the thought —
not wearing one at all, believing
it is their constitutional right
to spread their (possible) infections
to anyone and everyone to whom
they see fit.

So, yeah, we come to Epistemology.
That’s right. I said it — hard emphasis
on the second syllable — because
I’m angry now — waiting on pins
and needles — our very own bug
board — for these seven people
to do what’s right, what makes the
most sense and is safest for everyone
involved. So, I wait, listening
for the roll call that will determine
my fate,
which, of course,
is from Latin
meaning ‘that which
has been spoken.’


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Bridge the Distance: An Oral History of COVID-19 in Poems Copyright © 2021 by Scott McCloskey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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