Letter: Let us learn from this period of crisis

Posted 1/6/22

To the editor:What a painful two years it has been for all of us, but especially for our communities’ children. They have lost times and experiences that they will never get back. And they lack …

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Letter: Let us learn from this period of crisis

Posted

To the editor:

What a painful two years it has been for all of us, but especially for our communities’ children. They have lost times and experiences that they will never get back. And they lack the adult brain’s executive function, so they don’t know how to understand what is happening.

While they may not be learning what they would in normal school years, they are learning from this experience. What they learn in this time of crisis will be formative for how they function throughout their lives. I implore us as a community, as neighbors, to take a collective deep breath and be intentional about how we contribute to what they learn from all of us.

We actually have far more in common than what divides us. First and foremost, we all want the children of our community to learn well and safely. Covid has been challenging beyond anyone’s capacity to get it right all the time. Everyone has made mistakes during this time. And everyone has truly done the best they could.

Let’s not point fingers and demonize each other. When we shout, we’re not listening. The adrenalin rush of our righteous anger serves a useful purpose in making sure what’s wrong is voiced. Righting these wrongs takes a calmer approach of finding common ground and working together for the common good.

Let’s step back now and take stock. We’ve learned so much from this experience. We’ve seen incredible innovation and dedication. We’ve seen heartbreaking hardship and damage. Let’s take a hard look at the damage and address it. There are many best practices across our school system that we could learn from. Crisis can bring us to new approaches.

Let’s teach our children how a community comes together in a time of crisis and figures out how to meet our young people’s educational, social, and health needs. Let’s show them what community means. The children of our communities are watching us, and learning, lessons for life.

Barbara Frank
69 Locust Terrace
Warren

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.