Back To “School”

Where I live, today is the first day of school. Cue the Facebook posts of happy, well-dressed children holding up various Pinterest-worthy chalk boards that share vital stats of the moment! They will never look this clean and hair will never be so well-brushed again…or at least in my house they won’t. Let’s not pretend.

As both a teacher and a parent, it is a school year that seems to be filled with more questions than answers. Will it be okay? Are we going to be all sent home soon? How do I do this? And…what is echoing in my head the most…did we make the right choice?

I’m not used to making choices. I’m used to a set start date, set times, set schedules and set expectations of what the day looks like. But this year, at least where I live, we got to (had too?) choose…hybrid or distance? In or out? And over hours and hours of conversation, after consulting everyone we know within a 20 mile radius (seriously, anyone…mailperson, person six feet behind me in line at the hardware store….all the people), we decided. Or at least we think we decided, until we change our minds and then we will stick with that. Maybe.

We made a decision I never thought I would make in a million years. (Although I also never imagined living in a dystopian society, but HERE WE ARE.) We have decided to withdraw the Mini Mr (a second grader) and homeschool until things change. And at the same time, we have decided to keep Mini Me (a fifth grader) enrolled in full time distance learning.

I need to lie down.

There are a million reasons. Some of them are academic, some are health related, some are about taking care of family beyond the four of us and some of them are about being able to keep working. They are all the same factors we have all had on our minds all summer and yet we have all come up with different answers.

I hope everyone can understand and support one another. Because that should be the common ground. My decision doesn’t have anything to do with your decisions, because I hope your decisions are right for you…until they aren’t and then we will all PIVOT yet again. At this point, I feel so “flexible” that I can barely stand. Good thing I had all those years in the classroom, because if anyone has had practice being flexible with a smile on their face, it’s a teacher.

My goal is to blog about it. I started writing as Mrs. Mimi to share my thoughts about life in the classroom and found community, compassion, laughter. Now I am returning to a new sort of classroom…the classroom that is my house and an experience where I think I will yet again need community, compassion and laughter. And cocktails. Also, send coffee.

Join me?

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2 Comments
  • Cricket Heinze
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing your decision Jens! I have so much confidence in you and your knowledge of your kids and the big picture, and I hope you can feel the support you’re surrounded by. I wholeheartedly hope that all parents will be and can feel supported. There are so many unique factors for each family – we need to support one another! Let’s catch up soon.

    September 10, 2020 at 10:52 am
  • Megan Proto
    Reply

    Mini Mr. is one lucky student to get YOU as his teacher! You’ll be great…stressed out like every other teacher in the world, but rocking it nonetheless.

    September 10, 2020 at 10:42 pm

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