The Exploding Mitten, Part 1

I used to have a copy of this book for my sons, and I’m not sure where it is now. Jan Brett is a wonderful illustrator, and I had a few of her picture books. When I saw the viral post about “we can do this” I thought of this Ukrainian folktale: the story is a little mouse finds one mitten and makes a home for herself. Other forest critters come along, in succession of size, and ask to join her in her small home. The thematic topics of sharing until the point of destruction, (looking at you, Giving Tree), and sacrifice until no one has what they need, because, you guessed it, the mitten finally explodes from the stress. I feel like that mouse now, and schools are the mittens.

We teachers spend our own money. We buy food. We give up things because our students need it now. We support working parents, understanding they’re stressed and busy, and formed an ad-hoc coalition of support and community. (Well, this teacher anyway, and many of my colleagues.) I ran after-school clubs as a volunteer (that’s over 1000 hours of free childcare right there), and have spent thousands on books, food, and school supplies.

And I can’t for the life of me wrap my brain around why districts simply do not say we can’t reopen now.

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I’m reading all I can about what other districts are doing, or not doing. My next post will be about parents. Don’t worry — it will be kind.

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