Sunday, August 01, 2021

COVIDiary: Back to School 2021 vs 2020



Welp. What a difference a year makes. Sorta', kinda'. 

Though grandson doesn't start middle school until next week, granddaughter starts 3rd grade tomorrow. She told me she is glad to get back to school. Her main teacher from 2nd grade has moved up with the class to provide a smoother transition from last year's virtual school to this year's back-to-campus. 

Most of the COVID protocols are still in place: masks, distance between students indoors, etc., but the kids are so used to it by now that continuing to protect themselves and others doesn't bother them. And this new variant is scary, especially for young children, so I'm grateful those rules are still in place.

I've been putting together a photo book about our 2020-21 coronavirus year. While most of the photos and experiences included - holidays, the lockdown, projects - didn't dredge up too much horribleness, I have to admit the pages about virtual school caused a little trauma. It was hard. Looking back on it was hard. Remembering the internet disruptions, the app-confusions, the tears - oy! It's a wonder we're not all in therapy, especially the brave, wonderful teachers (and they may be - I'm sure they need it). 

But looking over what our children learned last year - yes, even while remote from their classrooms - I'm really impressed. It was most certainly not a lost year, and I know that everyone learned all sorts of skills and adaptability that they'll carry with them from here on out. 

As painful as looking back on 2020's start of school is, my main takeaway is that WE MADE IT! We all survived. Now we're ready to face a still-not-back-to-normal school year, knowing that as long as we keep each other safe through this weird virus- vaccinations, masks, distancing - we can keep going, progressing, growing. 

Compare/contrast, you say? Here you go:

Back to School 2020                                                   Back to School 2021

Set up distance learning areas at home                       Lay out school clothes for school

Ensure all internet access and apps work                    Ensure backpack is filled will school supplies

Practice patience because something will go wrong     Practice patience because something will go wrong

Have plentiful snacks/water on hand                           Bring water bottle (no snacking in school, y'all!)

Pray all distributed instructions have been followed    Pray all distributed instructions have been followed

Get to know your teachers via Zoom or Teams             Get to know your teachers wearing masks

Get to know your classmates via Zoom or Teams          Get to know your classmates wearing masks

Crazed parent as virtual school monitor                       Professional educators teaching, monitoring, caring

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