My heart wasn’t ready for how this feels.
We went back to some in-person teacher work this week and here is my room ready with the desks spread apart, set for my dear teachers to join me.
I started the first day ready to look on the bright side. I was ready to bring the fun and the joy and just concentrate on what we can do.
It took three days of looking at my masked friends for me to reach a point where my heartfelt it could take no more.
I just missed faces.
Staring at people in masks all day in my familiar classroom made it so I couldn’t hide from the reality of what is happening in our world like I can when cozied up in my own home.
And man, the level of energy our educators are going to need to pull this off is enormous. I’m coming to you today to ask for all the grace and patience you can muster when you encounter your child’s teacher or that teacher you love.
When you’re contacting the school secretary or the principal or the administration folks or the custodial staff please be extra patient and kind.
We are trying. We are putting one foot in front of the other. And we may have few answers.
The amount of thought that goes into making a school safe for kids during a pandemic would blow your actual mind. Especially when you consider we rely on tissue and Clorox wipe donations on the regular.
So right now you might not get information you want or need right when you want or need it. And when school starts your child might have to live with sitting next to someone they don’t like or with a schedule they don’t care for. You might not like how things are being run or the changes we’ve made or how this has all panned out.
Chances are we don’t like it either.
But here we are.
We are making the best of what we have and we all pledge to do our best…while maintaining 6 foot distance and wearing our masks.
We will be resisting the urge for high fives and hugs.
We won’t be able to read the faces of our kids to gauge for understanding or to read their feelings.
We are spending every single spare second just trying to figure out how to make this work so your child not only learns but wants to come to school. We want this so badly to go well for them.
And we are already weary.
So if you can wait to find out how many folders or notebooks your kid needs. Wait.
If you have a complaint maybe decide if it needs to be said or if maybe you can let it go for now. And maybe don’t post it on social media.
If you can please prepare your kids to be their most respectful, helpful selves. Now more than ever parents we need to be a team.
And if you have a moment to reach out to someone in any school anywhere and let them know you appreciate them it would mean the actual world.
The only way through this is together.
No politics, no taking sides, no fighting over this or that.
Just all the grown ups ready to do what we can to support our schools so they can support our children.
Maybe then we can get back to the business of finding the joy in learning and in being together…even if it looks like nothing we ever imagined.