Corona Virus Quarantine Day #187: School in times of Rona: September 23, 2020:
We are about three weeks into the school year. At St. James we started school in the hybrid where the kids were in the building two days a week and at home on line three days a week. I felt like that was going as well as it could. This week we started back full time. So on Monday, all of our almost 900 students came to the building.
It was weird. Which, is weird. This is what we are used to, right? A full school…yet somehow it felt weird to have everyone there. I’m guessing that’s because of the masks and the stickers on the floor and bleachers indicating how to socially distance (words I hope I never hear again when this passes). I am grateful that we are in school. I think our administration and teachers have a good plan and are taking on a lot of extras to make it possible. I am proud to be a part of that.
We still continue to do a digital on line day on Wednesday’s so that we can clean the school thoroughly before everyone comes back in or Thursday.
I will openly admit that I am not a huge fan of the digital days. Someone described it to me today like they are teaching “dead people.” I had to laugh out loud because that completely nailed it for me. Sometimes I wish I could reach through the screen and take a pulse to make sure they are alive. I know digital learning is not for everyone and that it’s not ideal, we’d rather be with them in the classroom…but man oh man, it’s hard to teach when kids stare at you with blank expressions and you feel like you are in a room full of people yet no one is talking back. Again…weird.
Our own five kids are in school full time as well. I know I should be grateful for that as I have friends who are barely surviving doing the on line thing with their own kids. I think if the corona virus has taught us anything it’s that we are all not meant to be teachers!
Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful they are in school. However, a few things have stood out to me about the return of school. First, going from 6 months of being at home everyday with perfect weather, playing, fishing, learning to cook and all the fun things we did each day to sitting at a desk in a mask is in a word…hard. The kids don’t really seem that bothered by the masks, it’s more the social distance. Last week when it rained, the kids said they couldn’t leave their desks during indoor recess. They struggled with that and I’m guessing all the kids did.
Kids are built to move. Being inside 8 hours a day working is not ideal…for anyone, including their teachers.
So what this means for parents is that when they get home rather than chores or making lunches or doing homework we want them outside running, getting dirty, playing games. Yet, all those other things need to get done. So there is a struggle to find balance. I am hopeful that we will find ours.
This morning no one wanted to get out of bed. I had to bribe Fletcher. The morning rush to get out of the house is stressful…for everyone. We need extra stuff now, water bottles and masks. We often forget something. As a working mom it’s not fun to start your day with grumpy forgetful people.
Again, while I’m glad and grateful that our kids are in school and I’m incredibly grateful for their teachers and all their sacrifices to make school possible. Right now, I’m not loving school for them. They are stressed out about things like tests (in my opinion, something NO small child should feel), performing badly and they miss their parents who they just spent every moment with for the last 6 months. I’m thinking at times that having them home and allowing them to be mask free, running and playing may be a better option.
Now the realist in me knows they will remain in school. That is where they belong. They want to be with their friends. They want to socialize, even with the distance. I also know that kids need to struggle so they can learn to overcome and solve their own problems. I know all of this. I believe all of this…but I’d be lying if I didn’t doubt at times if having them in school is the right thing during all this craziness.
I don’t know if we will ever know what was the right thing or not…I just know that I don’t judge other people and their choices because I know this is a challenge. For everyone.
So tonight I am going to pray for teachers, I am going to pray for parents who are struggling to homeschool their kids while they are in distance learning mode, I am going to pray for parents who have their kids in school and question if they are doing the right thing or not. We all need grace right now, I know I do, I know my kids do.
So, for grace, I will pray!
In an attempt to get out of my bad vibe on school right now, I’m going to look at the kids back to school pictures again. Enjoy!