Emily Kissner


May 22. By 10:35 the last student had left our morning Zoom meeting and I was alone in the virtual meeting room, seeing myself in the camera, and wondering if I needed another cup of coffee before looking over the day’s first completed assignments. By the 36th day of distance learning during a pandemic we had fallen into a routine.

Perhaps “fallen” isn’t the right word. To fall into a routine indicates a passivity that doesn’t reflect the true nature of our springtime classroom. It might be better to say that we blazed a routine, or even better to say that we hacked our way through a dense forest of obstacles to make a pathway that even by the end was beset with brambles.

Emily Kissner teaches 6th Grade for the Upper Adams School District. Her essay was prepared for the Gettysburg Democracy for America Education Task Force.

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