Watch Out 5781, As Early Childhood Educators, We Can Do Anything
One year ago at this time, we were in the midst of the 5780 High Holy Days. My early childhood education center was ready for Rosh Hashanah, and my house and life were almost ready. The biggest unknown was how many people were actually going to show up for dinner—you never know with my family.
Home and work were filled with people, apples, challah, honey, and shofars. We sang songs, prayed, ate, and celebrated. It seemed that every day there was at least one communal experience to be shared with family and friends. Both work and home were joyous and fun.
As I write this we are about to begin 5781 and it is nothing like 5780. This year there are many unknowns. I don’t know if our classes will continue on-site or if we will return to online learning. I don’t know if everything we are doing to keep the center healthy and safe will be enough. I don’t know if I will feel like an observer or a participant at virtual services. And I absolutely do not know how to cook a holiday meal for less than 20.
We are preparing and celebrating much differently than other years. Many of us are not having school-wide celebrations and are not attending services in a sanctuary with a community. Some of us will not hear the shofar blasts in person, and if we do it might be from sitting in a car. Could you ever have imagined a “drive-by shofar blowing?”
What I do know, have always known but really came to light in 5780, is that early childhood educators can do anything. We create amazing experiences with toilet paper tubes and masking tape, spur imagination with a mere facial expression, and inspire exploration with a bucket of water and a slotted spoon. And we build and maintain relationships and community no matter where we are.
To my ECE-RJ community, I wish you a year of more knowns than unknowns and a healthy and happy 5781.