“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”–we are fairly certain that back in their sophomore year when we read A Tale of Two Cities together and spent a full class period discussing the universal application of the first sentence of Charles Dickens’s tome, our students were not thinking how closely their senior year would mimic this sentiment. We, as their English teachers, certainly didn’t.
However, here we are. And in true Class of 2020 fashion, they have demonstrated resilience and fortitude in the face of forces way beyond their control. But we as their Grade Level Leader and Lead Advisor are not surprised. On our class trip to Myrtle Beach, rain interfered with the well-constructed plan for a class photo—not once, not twice—three times. And each time, the members of the class cheerfully donned their class t-shirts (even those shirts that were a bit soiled and smelly) and assembled for a photo. As well, the Class of 2020 embodies innovative practices. They are the first class to have organized a competitive spike ball tournament on their class trip and they left chalkboard space open for messages of support and encouragement to one another in Senior Corner. Members of the Class of 2020 function independently as fierce individuals, but they also value the support and connection of community.
Once we found ourselves forcibly separated by the pandemic, the class leaders immediately brainstormed ways to re-connect everyone and remind them that no matter the separation, they were all still members of the mighty Class of 2020. Kahoot-filled class meetings began almost immediately with students competing over how much they know about one another. These meetings celebrated lively competition, good-natured teasing, and much-missed class bonding. These moments of joy allowed everyone to come together and be appreciative of one another and forget for just a bit that things this year were different. These difficult times also saw the birth of the Instagram account celebrating seniors and their choices for the future; the Class of 2020 once again proved that CA students adapt to all circumstances.
As we say a fond farewell to our seniors, our hearts are selfishly heavy with our own sense of loss but filled with excitement for what this class will achieve. This group of young people truly knows the most valuable life lesson there is: when confronted with the worst of times, turn things around and make them the best of times. Congratulations Class of 2020!