I loved having my kids home with me. I loved that we could wear jammies, or be the no pants fam anytime we wanted. I loved the extra time together and fun extra adventures we were able to take, because of remote learning.
Today marks the 9th day of the 21-22 school year. My kids’ attend a K-8 location of CMSD. My 2nd grade kid began the strange re-familiarizing of classroom learning, last Monday. My Kindergartener attended two half days and one full day last week.
I’m certain, as much as we parents LOVE our children, we were all excited to see them go back into the classroom. Honestly, I was! Any other parent want to admit that?
As we have worked through the first few days, and have expected challenge, here’s 10 BACK INTO THE CLASSROOM CHALLENGES many families are possibly facing.
1. Timeliness: All of a sudden, scholars are limited to a set block of time, to accomplish an activity. There’s pressure in that scenario. It’s drastically different from completing assignment by Friday. Remote learning provided much more leniency because there was no in person accountability.
2. Functionality: Parents have to be up. Their responsibility is to assure timeliness of their students’ arrival: safely, homework completed, clean, clothed, and rested. Likewise, students have to be more focused and awake to function as needed in classes.
3. Germs: Yep, back to the germ mansion of epic proportions. Though every class requires masks, and all the preventative materials, there’s always a chance a friend will share more than welcomed.
4. Familiarity: Our babies, coming in as 1st graders or Kindergarten, are brand new to this school thing. Their first year was spent in the most unconventional way possible. That lack of familiarity of the building, day schedule, operations of the building, everything makes this year extra challenging.
5. Mental Health: This is always something that holds challenges; however, Covid deaths creates a whole new level for kids. The schools must prepare resources to be accessible for those students in need. Mental Health for us parents is also on a rocky foundation. Loss sucks!! When it happens so quickly, in such a cold and foreign setting.. like a hospital room with no family..our mental health will need self care.
6. Stillness: This is a HUGE challenge with our kids returning to school! Many kids struggled with sitting properly on Zoom. They were at home, sometimes unsupervised in a room. Returning to school requires little bodies to be relatively still, most of the day. I’d struggle with this if I were in this situation.
7. Attention: This falls hand in hand with stillness. Because of time, structure, and academic milestones, students must focus in order to advance to the next grade level. This year, our kids can have a bit more difficulty because of the environment changes.
8. Uncertainty of Covid: Gosh, this is truly a nightmare for all of us. As soon as we feel there’s progress in this circus, the news sweeps us back many a mile. The number of new cases rise by the day, terrifying to think.. especially considering this “ non-mandatory vaccine.” Kids now have to worry about being isolated or bullied if they were not to feel well. They would and do face feelings of anxiety about whether or not the schools will shut down again and they won’t see friends.
9. Weather elements: Many parts of our lives are affected by the weather. It’s equally impactful for our kids. What to wear? Sunshine or lack of changing behavior. Keeping track of gloves, hats, exc. If the weather will bring on colds.
10. All Individual Challenges of the Student: Even in a typical school year, no two students are exactly alike. That said, staff and parents must mold the specific details of each student into a safe and positive learning environment. Some kids are triggered by windows. Some kids cannot eat peanuts. Some might feel anxiety about not being able to finish a drawing. The sheer individuality of every child creates a need to adjust so he/she is in the best position to learn and grow.
The number one aspect that influences a child’s life is consistency. This resuming in-class education is necessary, but must be handled with patience, delicateness, and grace. The big emotions all of us are feeling are likely more scary for our babies. I asked that if you are not a teacher or a parent to please pray for a smooth transition all year. If you are a teacher and/or a parent please know that you have my full support! You got this!
Until next time,
Stay Safe, Speak Life, and Spread Kindness