As if every single day of this year hasn’t already felt like nearly too much to handle, August brings with it a huge serving of stress on a silver platter in the form of “Back to School”. This normally brings with it a bustle of school supplies, clothes shopping, figuring our new schedules and routines, but in true 2020 fashion, this year takes it up to a whole new level. Will our children even attend an in-person class? Will their only interactions be via a tiny camera and screen? How will parents juggle work and teaching? How many grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends will be stepping in to help, and how can this extra interaction be done safely?
Maybe they do get to return to school grounds soon, but nothing will look or be the same. Mandated masks and plastic shields, lunch at one’s desk, and recess without friends and playgrounds will surely leave its mark on many children. And the idea of dealing with any situation, from a parent or teacher’s perspective, does NOT have most of us looking forward to this month with much optimism.
The most important thing to remember in all the craziness is that we are all in this big mess together. Whether your kids are heading back to class in person, or you’re firing up those laptops at home, every parent and guardian is making the best decision for their family and unique situation and should be supported for making a courageous decision either way. Some parents will return to work, while others will add “teacher” to their resumes, and every single one of them needs encouragement and strength for the road ahead.
We don’t know about teaching Common Core math, but we do know we can all teach perseverance, ingenuity, and strength in the face of adversity. We can choose to start our days with our half-full glasses and do our best to show our kids that lemonade does, in fact, come from lemons.
We can use this time as a chance to show our young generation that kindness and respect, understanding, and empathy are more important than ever. Whether you get creative or silly, you schedule it all out, or fly by the seat of your pants, your children are watching you learn how to deal with their own problems in the future, and we have so many wonderful things that we can teach them!!!