My Facebook feed is full of friends whose children began school this past week. Most of them are virtual, thanks to COVID-19. In our area, many schools have gone back in person or in some form of virtual/in-person hybrid, with a separate option to go fully cyber.
The anxiety leading up to the start of the school year was palpable. Fellow parents were constantly asking each other what their plans were. Many waited until the first week of school to see if the school’s plans would change to all virtual learning. When that didn’t happen, many parents pulled their kids anyway.
Because I work in the school and have no immediate health concerns, both me and my children returned in person. I wasn’t worried about my 9th grader or my 3rd grader, but I was disappointed that my brand new kindergartener would be starting her school career under such daunting circumstances. I played up the start of school as something exciting and amazing, but inside my stomach was churning at the thought.
It turns out, I hadn’t needed to worry.
At the end of the first day, 5yo hopped out of the car and shouted, “I had the BEST DAY EVER!” Since then, school for all three kids has been going well. Under the circumstances, I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the school year. Their teachers are doing everything they can to make the day fun, despite not being able to work in groups or share materials. I am thankful none of my kids are seniors this year, but things seem to be working out for us.
Often, the weeks leading up to a stressful event are more mentally taxing than the event itself. That turned out to be true in our case as well. After months of worrying about what back-to-school would look like, finally getting to dive in has been a relief.
Let’s hope we can keep it going!