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A Day So Gray by Marie Lamba

This book might be the perfect read-aloud to close out 2020, for any age. It was gifted to me in June by my literacy specialist, after three months of remote school due to the pandemic and not knowing what the new school year would look like. This book is, in my opinion, the quintessential “the glass is half full” story. Two friends go for a walk in the snow. One can only see that the day is gray, and that the landscape is “blah brown” and “boring white.” Her friend though picks up on all the other colors shining through like “silver splashes of bright yellow” as the sun peeks through the clouds and “stomps of green” coming up through the snow. By the end of the story, the first friend’s frown has turned to a smile and she has learned to appreciate the beauty in “a day so gray.”

I feel that way about 2020. It has been arduous and exhausting and stressful and every other adjective for difficult and challenging that is out there. We’ve all lost something and someone. Our schools are not the same and neither is how we teach and lead. We’re figuring it out as we go, and some days all we can think is “when will this end?”

But in the midst of the chaos and the anxiety, there have been silver linings. We have learned new ways of connecting with our students and their families, and new instructional strategies. We’ve reimagined our school traditions and been forced to really focus on what is important. Not just in school, but in life as well. There has been more time at home, and more time to appreciate the little things we often take for granted. While the pandemic has taken much away, I have to believe there will be some positives that emerge, some lessons to be learned and carried forward, so that 2020 will not just be the year we lost so much, but also the year where we learned to appreciate the “gems of twinkling silver” in “a day so gray.”

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