‘Let today be the start of something new.’ It seems like there is something new every day with the Coronavirus still in control and now that school has started in some form for many of your children, you are doing something new once again. Last week just a few of the local schools had opened, but this week several more have opened.
Along with more of the children going back to school in some form, I was noticing that so many of the parents who had sent their children back to school for at least two days a week, were struggling and how hard it was for most of them. Now some may say, that especially the mothers are possibly overreacting, their posts on Facebook really got me to thinking. This is not right, this is not the way the first day of school should be.
There should be smiles and giddiness and of course, mothers and sometimes fathers do stress a bit about first days, especially for the little ones, but this stress feeling this year is like no other. Do the kids need to go back to school? Of course, but when you are sending your child with a mask on their face and a water bottle in their backpack plus hand sanitizer everywhere you look, even this retired teacher, was overwhelmed just thinking about all of this.
I read over and over, parents who were truly in fear as their children were leaving for their first day. We fear they won’t be able to keep a mask on, even the older ones, we fear they will touch someone who has the virus, or they will get in trouble for not keeping the social distancing that is expected, or they will not wash their hands enough, it is too much. And yet, you wonderful parents do your best to take away fear from your children and tell them to have fun and everything will be okay, when as soon as they get on that bus or out of your car, you realize you don’t have to hold it together for a while and you let the go the feelings you have been having since it was decided they would go back to school.
It may have been tears, it may have just been stress overload released, or it may have just been letting your feelings out about how hard this most unusual first day was on you. I really felt for all the parents who were feeling worried or just anxious for their children’s’ first day of school. I was so thankful that my boys were grown and I didn’t have to do this. I don’t know how I would have handled what you all have already done since last spring, on top of this new normal beginning of school. My hat is tipped off to all of you who have done this and made it through the day and to those of you who have yet to do so, my heart and thoughts are with you too.
Who would have thought that our children would have to go through anything like this in their lives? We are surprised, shocked and amazed that this has really been the way of living our lives since March. Children should not have to wear masks to school and should not have to be restricted on how they learn and how they can have fun with their friends while at school, but this is what they are doing and most of them in the photos I saw, seemed to be happy and so ready to go back to school. Children are resilient beyond anything we could truly imagine, and they really wanted to go back to school in whatever form they were given.
I don’t want to leave out those who have chosen total virtual learning for right now. Here you are again, your child’s teacher, most of you are back to work now, so how do you juggle school, work, and taking care of your children? You too, have to be feeling overwhelmed with all that is expected of you and yet somehow you will manage to get it all done, because no matter what form of education you have all chosen for your children, you all have the same goal in mind, you all want the best for your children and you will do what you can to make this school year the best it can for be for the children. You are amazing and you can do this.
The only project I recommend for this week is I saw on a back to school idea, whether it was virtual or in-person, was to have your children no matter what age to do some goal setting plans. For the younger ones, they make clouds that say My Hope and Dream and they write on each cloud their hope and plan for this school year. They can then look at the clouds and their goals and see them become reality. For the older children, they can do the clouds or any other shape or art idea they like, even famous people or songs connected ideas or symbols that represent them; or just write them on paper and they too will be able to see these goals come to fruition throughout the school year. I believe the kids will really like this idea as they are doing things differently and they can see progress for school to go back to the usual throughout the school year.
I will have more things especially for those who are doing more of the virtual learning in the weeks to come. I have heard that many of you are struggling with getting Google Classroom and I am going to look into ways I may be able to help you as you are learning and hopefully make it easier for you.
Have fun with your children this week, it will make you and them feel better. Keep in mind. I try to do my best to find things that are not a ton of work for you.
Let me know any ideas you have or what you would like to see and I’ll get right on it for you. Email me at email@example.com
Remember to be kind to each other and continue to set a good example for our children.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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