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Voices from Classroom: Love actually is all around and schools were replete with it as crisis struck

Hands down, the movie, Love Actually has the best opening scene of all time. It starts with videos of people embracing loved ones as they’re being reunited at London’s Heathrow Airport while Hugh Grant’s character shares the following sentiment, “General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere.

“Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

In our current education world, we are living in unprecedented times. Schools are being shut down for an extended period of time and people are anxious about what learning looks like when students are learning from home. In the midst of uncertainty, one thing is apparent: love actually is all around. 

Love is…

• People inquiring on Facebook to their friends if they know of any organizations that are collecting food for students who won’t get the regular meals that they typically get at school.

• Superintendents and administrators fielding a million phone calls and e-mails to find the best solution to make things better for their teachers, students, and community as a whole.

Amanda Klare

• Districts and family friends ensuring child care for parents who need help while their child is off school. They know that parents who work for an hourly wage, shouldn’t have to make the decision to stay home with their child and lose their house because they won’t have the income to pay their rent.
• Teachers taking the time to learn new technology to make virtual distance learning possible for their students.

• Large education businesses like Scholastic, Zoom, Mystery Science (just to name a few), who have made their resources readily available for free for teachers until June 2020 or beyond. 

• Cafeteria workers preparing breakfasts and lunches every day for students during the time off. 

• Janitorial staff making sure that rooms are sanitized and soap is restocked in all bathrooms leading up to the school being called off.

• Technology staff working to get devices in students’ hands with one day’s notice of the school closure.

• When teachers comforted their seniors when they got the news that their last spring sports season was officially over.
• Teachers making new lesson plans for their students to be able to do at home so they can continue to grow even if they aren’t in a traditional classroom.

• Parents shielding their children from the stress of the whole health scare and keeping a positive attitude about staying home.
• A student and teacher telling one another that they love and will miss each other over the weeks to come.

I will be the first to admit that stress was felt in all schools last week, but I can also tell you that love has been in each school too. Typically, we as people, show our love through hugs, but in this crucial time of social distancing, we are showing it in an even more sincere way, through acts of generosity.

These small gestures of kindness might not all make the news, but just as Hugh Grant’s character suggested, “If you look for it, I have a sneaky feeling that you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

Amanda Klare is a Hope Street Group Kentucky State Teacher Fellow alumna and a teacher at Beechwood Elementary School (Beechwood Independent). Klare created the Northern Kentucky Tribune‘s “Voices From The Classroom” feature, which highlights local teachers and their work to improve outcomes for students. She is a recipient of the 2019 Teacher Achievement Award and was a semifinalist for the 2019 Kentucky Teacher of the Year award. This column first appeared at the NKyTribune.

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