Good Morning and Welcome to Day 3 of our New Normal!
By now the novelty of sheltering at home has worn off, home school is not all that it is cracked up to be, concerns are increasing and so are the numbers. So how are you all doing in your homes? It is a challenge that, though we are all in this together, we are doing it in isolation. This is really difficult.
I know teachers are doing a great job of virtual teaching and I am so proud! Just as they have different classroom styles, so they have different “online” styles as well. Thank you for knowing this and honoring their individual ways of doing things.
Also thanks for bearing with us as we all figure out how to do this electronic learning thing. I learned more new programs yesterday than I have in the past 5 years! #coronateachesanolddognewtricks!. Be generous with your teachers—they are doing the best they can in a very new & challenging situation.
I know we are all getting frazzled and anxious as there is no distinct end in sight, but don’t forget there is an end to this all and it will get here. When it does, we will be required to make yet more transitions—and we will actually miss this crazy new normal when it is gone. So keep that in mind, relax into this time, know that your kids will learn regardless because they are little sponges, and remember they learn better when they move a lot. Don’t worry so much about the standards & the lessons that have been assigned, rather take time to tell them stories about when you were a kid. When they drive you crazy (or vice versa) go outside!! Outside is totally safe—it’s other people who are the risk. Don’t force the home school issue—find the fun in it. That’s what teachers do. Redirect, distract, try a different strategy, and when it goes totally south, get them up, out, and moving.
Grown-ups, you all need face-to-face support even more than your kids do. Use some of these sites (ZOOM, Facebook, Slack, Microsoft Stream, etc) to get online with other parents and talk about the challenges and anxiety you are feeling. Pour a glass of wine, put on a video for the kids, and get online with others in the same situation. I promise you will feel less crazy and less alone.
I said it before, but it’s worth saying again: this is an unprecedented time in our history and we will never be in this position again, so don’t take this time for granted. Enjoy every crazy minute, every frustration & challenge, every sweet, unexpected moment. Each family member could even keep a daily journal of how they are feeling and what they are doing during this time out of time. They will be amazing artifacts & keepsakes of this time in just a few years.
So relax into this--it is beyond you or me. Take the gifts from it and ride the waves of frustration and fear that come as well. Watch you kids play and re-learn how to play like they play. Breathe. Teach them how to cook, how to clean (AND disinfect!), how to fix things and use tools, clean out closets, climb trees, be goofy & silly. They will never forget this time with you so make the most of every moment. And when you need a break (and you will) take it, go for a walk (alone), find a great yoga pose, declare it is DEAR (drop everything and read) time and read a good grown up book, or take a nap—you are allowed.
We are with you, you are not alone, and you’ve got this!
With love, compassion, & gratitude for your continued partnership in education,
Joan Fowler Ray, Principal