Fear, Dragons, and Resources

I was doing perfectly fine until this morning.  And by fine, I mean I was so busy scrambling to cancel/rearrange/work/survive, that I didn’t have time to be afraid.  And that’s not to say I wasn’t worried, because BOY have I been worried about so many other people (my mom, my TA, my friends, etc.).  But I woke up this morning and suddenly, there it was: fear.  It was just sitting on my chest and I couldn’t get back to sleep.

sean-thomas-F6920BvzrZE-unsplash
Photo by Sean Thomas on Unsplash

It was a little dragon of fear at first, but then the whatifs kicked in.  Once those start, I know I’m in trouble.  And that little dragon grew.  I was reminded at one point of the Shel Silverstein poem about whatifs and had to look it up.  I was surprised that it didn’t offer a solution, but then again, is there a solution for whatifs when they’re breeding as fast as popcorn popping?

These are strange and surreal times.  There is NO normal right now, as everything shuts down all around us.  The world is on pause and it’s holding its breath.  Fear dragons keep breeding and growing.  I’m not saying this to trigger anyone’s anxiety or to breed more dragons of fear.  I debated on writing anything, but I thought I should be honest and open.  I too am afraid.

Until now, I haven’t been afraid because I firmly believe that God is in control and if it’s my time to go, then so be it.  I cannot control the day and time I leave this world.  And yet … I’m afraid for others.  I’m afraid for my mom who is now living with me.  I don’t want to accidentally expose her to anything.  And I’m afraid for my TA who is also in that same age range of exposure.  And my hubby’s mom.  I’m afraid for the protection of my students, who already live within a poverty lifestyle.  I hear of choices being made as to who gets help when so many are sick and I think of science fiction movies I’ve seen in the past where the elderly aren’t helped because they’re already on their way out, or the poor aren’t helped because they don’t have money to afford the expensive test/treatment.  Please tell me that’s not where we’re headed!

I thought of a movie from 2012 that I loved at the time and it stuck with me, but now, it feels like we’re living it (“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”).  I’ve joked about waiting for zombies to appear at any moment, because this is what the world feels like right now: post apocalyptic.  Is it?  Probably not.  But it FEELS like it.

There are toilet paper shortages everywhere. We joke about it, but the rush on things in grocery stores boggles my mind.  I’ve been trying to not panic buy anything, because I know that there may come a time when someone else is in need and I don’t want to buy up supplies to sit on a shelf at home.  I don’t have tons of mouths to feed.  I will let someone who truly needs those things get them.

Why am I writing about this?  Dragons.  They are growing bigger every day and terrorizing us.  I don’t know how to stop them.  I’m worried about you all.  I have no solutions, but I’m writing to say I care.  A friend shared a poem with me today (“For Who” by Mary Weston Fordham) and I wanted to share it here too.  It felt SO timely.

We’re all afraid and I have no solutions.  I can’t tell you to stop being afraid, when I’m afraid too.  And I also know how dumb it is to try and tell someone with anxiety to not be anxious. No one can control that.  Dragons are beginning to take over the world.  It’s why I look for things that make me laugh and I try to share them with others.  Laughter can keep the dragons at bay and make them shrink, just a little bit.

And I will help who I can, where I can.  There are SO many resources for kids at home and teaching at home that people are sharing now.  I’ve been collecting them because I don’t know if/when I might need to use some of them for my own students now stuck at home.  I thought I might share some of my resources here (and I might come back and edit the list from time to time too).  SEE BELOW.  And if I’ve missed a good one you know about, please share it with me so I can update the list!

Please be safe.  Try to keep your own dragons at bay and take care of yourself.  I love this prayer and had to share it here today:

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

RESOURCES:

Educational Companies with Free Subscriptions

Free educational websites (list on FromABCsToACTs–see image at end below)

Digital Directory for Remote Learning Resources

Free virtual tours (list on Lynne Marie’s blog)

Virtual Tours of Dairy Farms

Discovery Virtual Field Trips

WWII Virtual Field trips

Museums with Virtual Tours

Smithsonian Virtual Tours

Smithsonian images for free download right now

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Sketchbook Skool Creativity Guide

Dream Flights, Arctic Nights Teacher Guide and Coloring Pages

Salmon Sisters Coloring Pages

Mac Barnett reading his books live on Instagram (check for times)

Josh Gad reading books for kids

Operation Storytime (Famous People reading their books)

Online Read Alouds AND ACTIVITIES (for Jr High and High School too!)

Resources for Gifted Kids (Arts and Science)

Scholastic’s New/Free “Learn at Home” website (Prek-6+)

Jarrett Lerner’s writing/drawing education resources

Kate Messner’s read-aloud resources, etc.

Teaching online resources for educators

Talking with Kids about the Coronavirus

Free websites

 

About jenabenton

I'm an elementary school teacher, writer, illustrator and storyteller.

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