Dispatch #019

ZOOMING WITH STUDENTS

By Sofia Scoppettone

a kindergarten teacher in Washington DC

When I speak to the kids on Zoom
I try not to be filled with gloom, 
To not think about 
How I’m filled with doubt 
That I will see them any time soon. 

Instead I just try to be there 
To be present and show that I care 
To hear what they say
Right now, on this day
And act as though I’m unaware. 

Unaware that I may not see them at all. 
Unaware that we might not go back in the fall. 
Unaware that their year of kindergarten is done. 
Yes, I’m unaware so we can try to have fun. 

We talk, and I learn: 
Millie read a chapter book all on her own
And Rowan is building a treehouse at home
And Nathan works out with his grandma each day. 
Mateo was shy and didn't know what to say

But he showed me the Bible he told me he reads
And Xavier showed me the tadpoles he feeds
And Abby showed me her scrapbook, which describes 
How she went to Disney and rode on lots of rides. 

And so: I don´t tell the kids 
All the worries and doubts. 
When they ask me how I am, I say
¨Great! Now tell me about…¨ 

And then I just listen
nod, and ask ¨Why?¨ or ¨How?¨ 
Yes, students keep me focused 
On what´s here and now.

                  *

May 19, 2020

Sophia Scoppettone is a kindergarten teacher who lives in Washington DC. She is pursuing her M.S. in education at Johns Hopkins University

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