By Elisa Ferrell
District 3 Representative
President Huntsville School Board
It is 2021, and most if not all of us are happy to look at 2020 in the rear-view mirror. Last year was defined by the pandemic, civil unrest, killer wasps, and meteors narrowly missing earth. While none of us can, in and of ourselves change any of those things, we can change . . . not just us, but the world around us.
We can decide how we are going to react to it all. Instead of retribution we can extend grace. Instead of angrily demanding, we can extend grace. Instead of impatience, we can extend grace. Instead of ridicule or sarcasm we can extend grace. We all need more grace.
Our teachers have had the weight of the world on their shoulders. Not only were they worried for themselves during this tumultuous time, they were also worried for the children of our city. Extend them grace. They are multitasking like never before, dealing with new teaching platforms, and working nights and weekends in order to take care of someone else’s family. Extend them grace.
Our parents have had to multitask as well. They were the teacher’s aides at home, tech support, mom and dad, moral support, and still had the obligations of an employee. Frustration and anxiety are inevitable. Extend them grace.
Our students have missed their friends, been anxious about their new form of learning, about the unknown from COVID, and have absorbed all the anxiety and frustration of the adults around them. Extend them grace.
Our administrators have had the weight of the education and physical well-being of 24,000 students and 2500 staff on their shoulders. They have met with sleepless nights, balancing the learning loss and education needs, and the health and safety of students and staff. There have been no easy decisions. Extend them grace.
We do not have the ability to control things like killer wasps, meteor showers and pandemics that may come our way. We do have the ability to decide how we will react to it. As much as 2020 was uncertain, tumultuous, scary, and arduous, 2021 is our blank canvas. It can be our year of creativity, friendships, achievement, and opportunity. It can be what we make of it. Extend yourself some grace, and have a wonderful new year!