In February, my family and I began having discussions as to what the future looked like for me at work. I am a school librarian and really am no longer able to do much of my job. Shelving books is out of the question – it takes more energy than I have do to it. We decided to present several options to my boss – 2 of which involved me staying on for another year. After talking with the boss, we ended up deciding that this needs to be my last year. I cannot promise that I won’t need to quit mid-year. Of course none of us can promise that, but with a chronic health issue it is even more uncertain.
On Thursday, March 12 I informed my boss that I would not be returning next school year. The COVID-19 shut downs were just beginning but I was sure I’d have most of the rest of the school year with my kids. That evening it was announced that public schools would be closing so I got in contact with our high school English teacher and we planned a session for her ninth graders in the library on Friday so that they would be able to do their research from home if necessary. By noon on Friday, March 13 it was announced that we would be closed the next 3 weeks (1 of which was our scheduled spring break). Because of a Facebook post by a fellow librarian – I contacted all the teachers and gave them the option of bringing their classes to the library at some point on Friday for extra book check out. That afternoon I saw over 100 kids in the library – all of 9th grade, and most of the students in grades 1-5. After everyone left at the end of the day I looked at my daughter and said, “I wonder if that will be that last time I service ‘my’ kids.” I didn’t really believe it was a possibility though.
We went through the first week of shut down – I tried to support the teachers and the parents in what they now had to do, but they were all too overwhelmed with the task to let me help. It was a hard week for me.
Then last Friday, March 27 the governor of our state announced that all public schools were shutting down for the remainder of the school year. They would be moving to online education. I cried – I mean ugly cried – I sobbed in the arms of my poor 20-year-old son who was the only one home with me at the time. I still had a glimmer of hope though as our school is a private school – maybe we would be different.
Then Saturday the email came from the Head of School. Our school would be shutting down until the end of the year as well. Administration will re-evaluate toward the end of April but the chances of us reopening are slim.
So, I am left with leaving a job I love, before I am old enough to retire and not being allowed to enjoy and savor my last 2 ½ months with “my” kids. My heart is heavy and I still cry daily, but God is in control and I trust He will work this out for my good – not sure just what that good is yet, but He knows.