Monday, August 17, 2020

The Latest and Greatest with School

We start school on Thursday. Virtually of course. Right now, the school is saying 4 weeks of 100% virtual, but time will tell if that is accurate or not. We committed to returning to school in-person once it has re-opened, but that wasn't an easy decision [see Ariel meme below ha]. I keep saying we need to find a way to live with COVID instead of around COVID, and returning to school seemed necessary.

As of me writing this post, we know who Paige's teachers and Trent's teachers are. One of the benefits of a Montessori education is you stay in the same class for 3 years. Well, there has been really high turnover at our school {like every other school}, and Trent's teacher left. I am REALLY upset because Trent was pretty bonded to Mr. Blackburn, and even if Trent could be difficult, they had 2 years vested into a relationship, and now we get to start over. Sigh. I don't know Paige's guide, but her assistant is the sister of her assistant last year at our old school. Paige is really nervous about going back to school - I don't blame her given she's been home for over 5 months now. But at least I *think* it helped her to hear Ms. Rossy's sister would be in her class this year???

What's frustrating is Drew's teacher hasn't left, but because they are dedicating certain teachers to virtual and certain to in-person, we don't know yet if Drew is keeping her guide. She LOVES Mrs. Worcester, so I really hope they will be together again this year. I know none of this is the school's fault, but it's all so frustrating and sad. I have been obsessively refreshing my email all weekend as we wait for the teacher emails to come through. That should surprise exactly zero people. {grin}

During a webcast a few weeks ago, I got a little upset at some of the COVID-related guidelines and seriously considered keeping them home longer, but we ultimately decided {hoped?} the benefits of returning would outweigh the negatives. I'm really bummed that the school has decided ALL children will wear masks all day. I keep picturing Paige in a mask all day, and I want to cry. The administration has said they will have 'mask breaks' and also be outside more, but I still hate this. I also hope they get to actually play with their friends and have PE and recess and collaborate in class. Brent and I NEED to work and it seems to be getting harder as time goes on to have them home, so I think {hope?} this is good for all of us.

We haven't seen details yet on how exactly distance learning will look. We know it's going to be different than the spring, which was really just a band-aid. From what I've heard, it's going to be a mix of zoom meetings/lessons and posted video lessons with assignments that need to be turned in. I think they are trying to limit the amount of live zoom calls and adding the recorded videos to help working parents manage. 

How we are thinking things will work over the next 4 weeks: My parents have offered to help us 3 days/week. BEST NEWS EVER! I will either go to their house or they will come to ours and they will help coordinate zoom calls, watch videos, help with activities, and help keep the kids entertained. My mom was a PE teacher for over 20 of her 30+ years of teaching, so I have asked her to also get them moving more AND she's agreed to start teaching Trent and Drew piano too!!! My in-laws have said they will help 1 day/week, but they don't want to do school work since they were never teachers but are happy to entertain them which will be amazing. I have a ton of vacation time saved up, so I imagine I'll be using it for the remaining day each week.

I'm extremely anxious about how all this is going to actually go down, but I'm so thankful for all the help we have from our parents, and of course, that Brent and I are in this together. I know we'll manage, we both have supportive bosses/jobs, and we have really great kids. It's just a lot, so I also wonder how much wine I need to buy this week... {grin}


Natasha said...

I'm soooo glad you'll be getting so much help from both sets of parents. I totally agree with you that we need to learn to live with Covid because I think it's here to stay for awhile and we can't just stay in our houses for the next however long...

Also, I would say, as a parent who isn't currently working that this absolutely isn't the same party for anybody. With all the restrictions, and everything being shut down, this has not been anybody's idea of normal. Hopefully this is all making sense and not just coming across as snarky. I KNOW for working parents this has been hard but even as a non-working parent, Covid times have been hard because all the regular outlets have been taken away/drastically changed.

We probably just need to have another Zoom call about this because there's just too much to say it well in a comment :)

Kathryn Bagley said...

That last meme..hahahah!! Definitely NOT the same party. I think the first few days just like with anything new will be an adjustment but then yall will get in a routine and it will all work out! I just feel for the kids whose parents really aren't invested in their kids education and won't be making sure they are getting online and doing the work.

Jinjer-The Intrepid Angeleno said...

I don't have kids but I have been working from home for the past four years. I can't EVEN imagine trying to concentrate on work while also trying to supervise/teach/take care of children.

I have a cat and a 93-yo mother to tend to on before & after work and on my breaks. That's challenging enough. And now that I think of it, this particular cat is pretty vocal, needy, and maybe I do know what it's like to have a pester-y toddler?? The 93-yo is more like the sullen, moody teenager. Ha ha.

Hang in there! Glad your parents have offered to help out.

Emily said...

I appreciate your school update because it gives me perspective on life outside of Philadelphia. Kind of a confirmation that yes, across America, we are all in the same holding pattern. I know it’s frustrating and I can offer no words of comfort except to say that someday we’ll look back on this time and be relieved it is over!