The school year is going to look a little different this year. It doesn’t matter if your city contains skyscrapers or tiny mom-and-pop restaurants that sponsor Little League teams. From the classrooms to the playgrounds; it’s going to be different. But what if it looked more like love?
I know back to school shopping has probably been a nightmare for most parents so far this August because it’s hard to know what to expect. Trust me, it’s been hard for teachers as well. You almost wish a cheesy 90s romantic comedy montage outside of a dressing room would unfold before your eyes so you know what the 2020-2021 school year was going to look like. But the truth of the matter is that nobody knows what this school year will contain. If there’s anything I encourage you to add to your school supply list this year it’s “patience.”
As teachers, we will definitely need to have more patience with our students than in previous years. Many students haven’t seen their friends in months and are missing those lunchtable conversations. As they unpack their backpacks into their desks, there’s still going to be a lot of weight they’re carrying from their home lives. If students are choosing the option to go to school virtually, there are definitely going to be some glitches to work out in the beginning.
As parents, I can’t speak from your point of view because I am not a father yet, but I can say that things are always better when it’s the teacher and the parent vs the problem rather than the teacher vs the parent. They don’t teach you how to teach during a pandemic when you’re in college. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been teaching for 25 years or it’s your first year, but I can say that we are some of the most flexible people around and we will put in our best effort.
What if this school year brings us closer together? I’m not talking about having parents over for cookouts every Sunday before the game, but I am talking about taking this opportunity to rally around one another. Last school year is over with. Whatever happened from March until the end of the school year is in the past now. Whether your distance learning experience went the way you thought it was going to or not, we can’t turn back time like Doc Brown and Marty McFly. What we can do is be there for one another. Lead with empathy instead of hate.
From the maintenance staff who works tirelessly to ensure cleanliness in our schools this year to the single mothers and fathers working late hours but still have time to help with that math homework. From the school administrators that have been logging late nights since March of 2020 to grandparents that have been watching their grandchildren. From the bus drivers that open their squeaky brake buses with a smile to the lunch staff that give a little extra scoop and a wink to a child in need. This school year is going to look different, but what if it looked more like love?