With schools temporarily closing their doors and / or moving toward online instruction for the next several weeks as people are encouraged to self-isolate to help stop the spread of coronavirus, there's one group of students who are feeling particularly frustrated by the loss of extracurricular activities and time spent with friends: high school seniors.
In response, Louisiana 2020 Teacher of the Year and Hurricane Katrina survivor Chris Dier has penned a symphathetic and encouraging open letter to high school seniors.
"Most do not need to experience Katrina to know that this is tough on you," part of the letter reads. "Those of us who work in schools do so because we care above all else. That caring does not stop once you leave those school walls. In situations like these, we worry more about you. There is a lot of uncertainty, but rest assured, districts across the nation are working in creative ways, from potentially abbreviated school years to organizing social events when this subsides, to make this situation the best they possibly can for you.
"Some educators are working endlessly to transfer to virtual learning and accompany those without the internet. Administrators are working to get those meals together for those who need them. We are all in crisis mode but know that we are all doing everything we can to help during this tumultuous time. You are not forgotten. We are thinking about you. We are here for you. We care," he emphasizes.
He also encouraged students to reach out to their friends and family, offer to help the elderly, and to keep busy. "Exercise. Read books – maybe even those boring ones your English teachers were stoked for you to read. Or just read manga. Read something! Reach out to those friends you know don’t have internet access. Call and check up on ‘em. Listen to podcasts. Make a podcast. Start a hobby. Journal for posterity. You’re living through history. Your bold reaction to this is going to make history."
Read Mr. Dier's entire letter here.