Edgartown: Hybrid learning for children

— Shelby Regan

Is it just me, or are other people still having trouble knowing what day it is? I’m forever on the wrong day. I don’t think I’ve missed anything, thanks to my trusty calendar on my iPhone, but I literally have to enter everything in it and have it remind me several times, because on any given day, I’d be willing to swear that it’s a different day. I reckon that will get a little better once we are back to school. I just hope I remember to show up.

Today was a beautiful day, spent at the beach. Parking was still tight, and there were a lot of people, but I think the Island felt a teeny bit quieter than it did last week. I suppose it could be my imagination, but it just seems a bit calmer. A girl can dream, anyway.

I’m very sad to hear about the death of Steve Rose. I’ve been friends with Mr. Rose for a few years on Facebook, and I have always enjoyed his comments on my posts, as well as his own posts of his garden, or his work at the shipyard. We were literally talking about how long he’d worked at the shipyard and how beautiful his work was just a couple of days before I read that he had passed. Another true Island treasure gone too soon. My thoughts are with the family.

I will be running the Amity Island Running Club/Camp Jabberwocky 5K this weekend, how about you? It’s virtual, which is great for me. I really don’t enjoy running in the morning. Honestly, in the summer, I don’t like to run before 7 pm. I just can’t take the hot sun and humidity so much anymore. So, I’ll run 3.1 miles closer to home this year. I just signed up for the T shirt anyway.

Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Marna Waller on August 10, Lisa Vunk on August 11, Kiely Rigali and Jennifer Rose on August 14, and Amy Rezendes Del Torto on August 15.

I hope you are getting the chance to go to the drive-in movies, a joint effort by the YMCA and the M.V. Film Festival. This Saturday, August 15, is “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” at 8 pm. For more information, you can email them at info@tmvff.org.

We registered Amelia to vote yesterday. If you aren’t registered to vote, and are 18 or older, you can go to vote.org to register. Every vote counts. Make your voice heard. Only about half of the voting public votes in a federal election, and the U.S. is among the lowest voter turnout in developed countries, which is pretty sad. You can even vote by mail by requesting a ballot. Just remember to mail your ballot back early and use two stamps on it, or it won’t make it where it’s going in time. For our government to really work for the people, the way it is supposed to, we need a better voter turnout, regardless of your politics and beliefs.

Speaking of letting your voices be heard, have you shared your thoughts about school reopening with the Island administration? Right now, we will be rolling into a hybrid situation. The first two weeks is just for teachers, for professional development. We need to be sure that we are as well equipped as we can be to get back to school safely. To be honest, I’ve kind of lost track of the proposed plan, but it will start with some remote learning, then K-2 hybrid, and then 3-12 hybrid will join in, with everyone being back in a hybrid environment by the end of October.

I’ve seen some really negative comments online about teachers being lazy and not wanting to go back to work. It can be really disheartening to read comments on newspaper articles. Not long ago, we teachers were the good guys for jumping into remote learning as best we could with no preparation. Now people seem to think we don’t want to go back to work. We do want to go back. We just want it to be safe for everyone: us, our students, our families, and our students’ families. And we don’t want to go back only to have to close back down quickly like other schools have done. We are now seeing COVID spread among kids like we didn’t see before. I think it’s because kids were home before and not exposed, and now they are back out there, so now we are seeing that they do actually get it and carry it.

I don’t want to be self-serving with my column about this topic. I just want to reassure people that we do want to do everything we can for our students, and we do want to be back in school with them. But it is going to look and feel very different this year than kids have experienced in the past, due to social distancing, hygiene, and masks. There is no easy answer. But please know that we are all trying our very best to make it work as best we can. Your kids are our kids. We want what is best for them. But none of us took a Global Pandemic and Teaching course when we were getting our teaching degrees. And trial and error with this particular issue isn’t in anyone’s best interest.

Are you going to the virtual fair this year? The M.V. Ag Society needs our help for sure. Without the income from the fair this year, they are financially strapped. But we can all help them by buying virtual tickets, posters, T shirts, and such. They do a lot for this Island, and this is really the first time they’ve needed help. Check out their website and learn about this year’s virtual event “Staying Home on the Farm” at marthasvineyardagriculturalsociety.org/annual-fair. There are still things to see and do, but like everything else this year, it comes with a twist.

Have a great week. Stay happy and healthy, and please, be kind to each other. What you do matters!

If you have any Edgartown Town Column suggestions, email Gail Gardner, ggardnermv@gmail.com.