Instead of seeing lots of capes and masks, like one might expect, I logged into our virtual Facebook community that day to see a number of our students dressed up like their parents, many of whom work hourly wage jobs. There was a grocery store worker, complete with an apron and name tag, a third-grader donning her mother’s nursing assistant scrubs, and a student dressed up with her dad’s delivery truck driver cap. Our students were beaming with pride when they spoke of the work their parents have been doing as “essential workers” — work that is increasingly dangerous in the age of coronavirus and work that society has long undervalued.
I know this new perspective has changed their personal narratives. I know this, because, as a child, I can remember battling with feelings of embarrassment over the discount cereal and hand-me-down shoes that my dad’s low-wage work afforded us.
I am the proud principal of Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep, part of the public charter elementary school network Rocketship Public Schools.