I feel it in the air every morning when I step outside of my farmhouse to feed my pigs and goats. The feel of the crisp morning chill my thoughts knowing that summer is drawing to a close. Usually thoughts of pencils, apples, and pumpkin spice lattes dance in my head, but this year is different.
I am a special education teacher. This will be my 9th year- almost a decade. In the last decade have I experienced anything like what is going on in the education world today? Absolutely not. I would never have dreamed that we would be in a global pandemic affecting the lives of countless teachers, parents, and of course- the children.
I have the back to school blues. It’s not because I don’t love teaching. I do. It’s just this year has been causing so much conflict. Most of the school districts in my state are opening with remote learning. Parents are struggling with their decisions, teachers are doing the best they can, but my heart really aches for the children.
My heart aches for the children who rely on school as their safe place. A place where they can rely on consistency, routine, and accountability. A place where they feel loved by their teacher and their friends are their family. The sad reality is that those relationships are hard to build via remote learning.
I am not arguing that we should all rush into schools now and be in person. I know the importance of social distancing, mask wearing, and staying safe. However I can’t help but have the back to school blues.
I have three boys. They will be all be doing online learning. My two youngest have never been in school before. My heart continues to ache for the loss I feel of missing out on an important event in their lives. I wanted those classroom photos. I wanted to pick them up from school and have them tell me about all the new friends they made. I wanted to hang up their art project they made in class.
As a special education teacher doing online teaching, I will do my best. I will try to cultivate relationships with my students by being as engaging as possible. So please be patient with us teachers. As a mom and educator- let’s work together. All we want is what’s best for the children.
For the parents struggling with their options of whether or not to send their children back to school, do what’s best for YOUR child. People will always have opinions. I try to only listen to people’s opinions or advice if I truly respect the decisions they’ve made in their own lives. Ultimately, the choice is yours.