I didn't understand the severity of the virus until today. One of my roommates officially moved back to the United States this morning. To be honest it was unexpected, but my other roommate and I truly supported her decision. Even though she was a piece of home and a genuine family member to me I knew she had to do what was best for herself. We even received an email from CIEE informing us that we had two options for these upcoming weeks. Option 1: Continue in Madrid working for your school. Where we will be following the instructions and tasks assigned by our schools (some will be working at the school or remotely.) Option 2: Ask for unpaid leave until April 13th. Part of me was relieved to know that they weren't canceling our program. But the other part of me was in shock to see that this in fact the reality of the current situation.
To be completely honest I am currently feeling a mix of emotions. It seems unreal to think that news broke out just a few days ago that the Community of Madrid has officially decided to shut down all of the schools. Students will not be attending school, but depending on what school you work at some language assistants still have to return. My school has made the decision that I along with my other colleagues must attend today. Once we arrived at our school I had a dreary feeling. It is strange to walk in and not see all of our students beaming smiles to greet us. We all had a meeting with our Head Master (it was enlightening to see all of the teachers surrounded by each other.) This meeting was informing everyone what was to be expected in the upcoming weeks. Once our meeting ended everyone got back to work. Walking through the hallways the lights are turned off and the building is completely silent. I peeked outside our classroom window to see our neighboring school and my colleague and close friend pointed out “look at the windows, they are completely covered by the blinds, and how strange it is to look at the playground without students running around.”
Everyone here is working on their designated tasks, and making sure that they can help their students despite not having them physically present at school.I am always inspired and intrigued by the hardwork and dedication that the other teachers have. I am currently working on creating powerpoints and lessons for the students. It is a nice distraction, especially because I can focus all of my energy in ensuring that our students will benefit from them upon their return.
This is a great learning opportunity to learn how to embrace the unexpected. It could be described as a series of unfortunate events but somehow I along with a few other friends are learning how to roll with the punches. It is important that I stay grounded and learn how to adapt to the current changes. One word comes to mind during a time like this. Resilience. I am determined to stay strong and resilient during this confusing time period. Because at the end of the day I truly love living and working here. We will get through this situation, whatever it takes. Thankfully I have a strong support group of friends, colleagues and family members. I will be patiently waiting for the upcoming news and the confirmation that our community is safe and our students can return to school.