All three of my kids are participating in virtual learning this year. It was a choice their father and I made based on how safe we thought school was, how much they wanted to go, and the fact I work from home so I can be there to support them.
This is our choice. We own it.
With that comes not knowing what the hell to expect.
Last Tuesday was their first day of school and all my kids woke up at 7:30 so they could be logged into Google classroom. I was shocked to say the least — I thought for sure I’d be dragging them out of a delicious slumber because they’ve been sleeping in for six months now. Anyway, it just goes to show we have no idea what to expect this year — the good and the bad.
After a few hours, not one of them had heard a thing from anyone, and they wondered why in the hell they had gotten up so early.
After explaining to them that the high school teachers were also undergoing their first day back at school in six months, during a pandemic, it was more than fair to sit back and wait and see what was going to happen because none of us have done this before.
Maybe my tone was a bit too harsh because I’ve been holding my rants in when I see posts on Facebook pointing the fingers at teachers and administrators for not doing enough; for not doing it right; for not knowing what the hell they were doing.
Um, excuse me. Do you know what you are doing? Do you know how you are going to get through the next day, much less try and plan out a week for your own family, plus hundreds of kids on top of that?
I didn’t think so.
I’m tired of seeing people post about how teachers are screwing up. I’m sick of those pointing their fingers telling parents what they should and shouldn’t be doing with their kids. I’m tired of hearing your complaining over a situation no one has control over.
Everyone is doing their best and trying to figure this shitstorm out.
This school year, we need to breathe deeply and remember there are going to be bumps in the road because not only are we not doing a normal school year — we are throwing a global pandemic on top of the madness.
Let’s think before we speak. Let’s realize schools may shut down if cases start to rise. Let’s have a backup plan (or two) at the ready just in case. Let’s have some grace and compassion for the teachers who are busting their asses trying to do right by their students, staff, the parents, and their own families.
It is going to look like no other back-to-school year we’ve seen before and everyone is looking to the teachers to get it right.
How about we have the same amount of patience with administrators and teachers that we want others to have with ourselves?
How about we stop making a terrible situation worse by not being flexible and thinking the school staff should have all the answers? They don’t, and that’s okay.
The point is, they are trying.
A few weeks ago, I got an 11-page email from my kids’ high school. After that, I’ve gotten no less than three emails a day. I am trying to keep it all straight, but I am going to mess up and forget something. I don’t want anyone blasting me for it, and I’m sure no one else would either.
I have no idea what these coming months will bring. No one does.
Remember that before you go on a rant or send an angry email off to a teacher.
We will get the hang of this. It will be easier. But stirring the pot isn’t helping anyone; not your child, not their teachers, not the administrators who are trying to sort this out. It just adds a layer of stress to an already-stressful situation.
Teachers and administrators certainly aren’t waking up wondering how they can screw up your day, confuse you, or change their minds about something for the fun of it. It seems like some people are also forgetting that this isn’t their choice. They want normalcy more than anything.
They are tired, they are nervous, they are scared about what this year could bring and how it could affect our kids.
Let’s all have a little grace, a lot of flexibility, and be prepared as best we can for lots of disruptions.
The way I see it, I can do that or I can fight everyone at every turn and demand an answer that I’ll never get. If you ask me, rolling with the punches each day sounds a hell of a lot less tiring.
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