“The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all.”
– Proverb 22:2
Parents all over the world are stressing out. What are they going to do with their children this fall? How will they continue their education if they can’t go to school? What if they go to school and then contract the virus?
In response, we are seeing a radical acceleration of creative solutions. One parent noted in an online emergent leadership group, “Almost overnight, social media groups and parenting networks are exploding with facebook groups, matchups, and spreadsheets scrambling to form homeschooling pods. Pods are clusters of 3-6 families with similar aged (and sometimes same-school) children co-quarantined with each other, who hire one tutor for in-person support for their kids. Sometimes the tutor in question is full time and sometimes part-time teaching in outdoor classes, depending on the age of children and individual circumstances.”
In our moments of great desperation, we manifest great innovation.
Seemingly overnight, we are watching the creation of a new education industry based entirely on grassroots networking with little to no support from government offices. What might have taken years to engineer and institute is happening at lightning speed and with great care for the quality of experience and safety for the children.
Well, for most children.
A predictable but unintended byproduct of this grassroots organizing is revealing how segmented we are by race and economic access. Distance learning is challenging for all children. High-income families are going to supplement it with quarantine pods and private tutoring. Low-income families will be stuck with no assistance for 8-year-olds who are supposed to be on Zoom for 5 hrs a day. This is on top of already not having a way to work with children stuck at home, and being more exposed with “essential” jobs.
These are the moments that make or break us. They unmask our values as a nation and as people. The question before us is: Are we in this transformational moment together, or are we once again looking out for “our own?” Our answer holds the hope of the entire world.
We are in this together,