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  • Writer's pictureKrista Price

Student Selflessness (Quarantine Day 2)

I’ve been teaching for 22 years. I’ve walked alongside students during national tragedies such as 9/11 and horrific school shootings. I’ve had vulnerable discussions with them during upticks in violence against women, those of color, and immigrants. I’ve shared my weaknesses during times of crisis, and have listened to theirs. I’ve watched as students grow, fall, fail, and soar amidst personal tragedies, as well. While I’m not a perfect teacher, I’ve always tried to listen to and learn from students, especially when outside forces demand of us our attention and response.

Today, as our nation goes through its next (and unprecedented) national tragedy, I think it’s appropriate to collectively listen to, and learn from, our students. Much has been said about the closure of schools during this time of crisis, and everyone gets to have their own opinion on that. However, when I reassured my classes on Thursday that they shouldn’t panic because they are in the lowest risk category, their responses were quick and resounding.

“I know I’ll be fine…but my dad has COPD and will die if I, as a carrier, bring this home to him.”

“My grandparents are in their seventies and they are my guardians. If they die, I have no family. I’m terrified I’m going to infect them, so I shower the second I get home.”

“My grandma lives with us. She’s in the highest risk factor. I don’t want to pass Coronavirus to her.”

Friends, students are far less selfish than adults often assume them to be. They care about the vulnerable in our society, and recognize the need for swift and decisive action. The truth is, I’ve seen far more selfish behavior out of adults in the last few days (bemoaning school closures, hoarding toilet paper and other supplies, whining about having to take care of their own kids for 3 weeks, etc.) than I did from any student this past week. As adults, let’s take a lesson from our students. Even when they know something will most likely not affect them, they recognize it can affect OTHERS. That’s called SELFLESSNESS. Take note.

In the face of this national tragedy, let’s prove who we really are and find ways to be selfless. I plan to call my neighbor (who is in her late seventies and has emphysema) to see if she needs any supplies. What do you plan to do? Would love to hear your comments…

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