Leah is a guidance counsellor in the Providence School System. She teaches at Mt. Pleasant High School. The job in and of itself is very difficult. In Providence there were many problems to deal with even before Covid, such as poverty, poor attendance, students not interested in doing the work, and English as a second language. Many kids are disengaged, so don’t score well on standardized tests. Of course the teachers get blamed.
Providence has a very high rate of Covid. Leah helps students pick their classes. She helps them with college applications, and is there to discuss student’s worries and concerns. There’s constant stress. Some kids don’t wear their masks correctly. That is also true for some of the teachers.
Each classroom has been given Hepa Filters to help sanitize the air. The teachers were never instructed in how to use them. There is a button that needs to be pushed in order for the filter to sanitize the air, otherwise you’re just circulating the air in the room. Leah finds herself going from classroom to classroom to make sure that button has been pushed, and that the filter is placed properly.
Staying positive is hard! A lot of the older students have jobs, either because they need to or they like to earn the extra pocket money. Once they feel the money, they’re less interested in school. It’s difficult to get them to understand, that in order to attain a better life situation, it’s important to complete their education.
Leah experiences hope from those students who get it, and do the work and achieve. Those are the students that keep her going.
Leah tries to find a “silver lining” in the present situation. It causes her to reconsider what’s important.
At home, before Covid, Leah was driving her boys to various activities. It seemed like she was running in all directions. Because of Covid many activities have been cancelled. Life is less hectic. It’s good to be able to get together on Zoom. They now have a Lab puppy.