Paperwork has been submitted for my son to start preschool next year and my daughter’s spot in kindergarten is confirmed. It should be a time of celebrating milestones. Instead I’m filled with a mix of exhaustion, anticipation and dread about the upcoming school year.
We all have high hopes for next school year to get back to “normal” but at this point, I have my doubts.
Will things ever be “normal” again or will we push forward with all the continued uncertainty and moving pieces that we now call “normal”?
Because, frankly, all this uncertainty and moving pieces has left me a little traumatized, a lot overwhelmed and so, so tired.
Our school year start date for the current academic year continued getting pushed back until I wasn’t even sure we’d ever start. In November, a week prior to all the holiday crazy getting started, we were moved to e-learning. The return to in-person date for January was delayed.
Four days after getting back into the routine of in-person in 2021, we returned to e-learning with a confirmed case in my daughter’s class.
This week I received an email with the subject line, “Probable Exposure” and my heart started racing as though I might just have a panic attack. Upon further reading, the notice was to explain a positive in the case in the school but that my daughter had likely NOT been exposed.
Will we even get through the rest of this school year in-person or is e-learning in our imminent future?
It’s really anyone’s guess.
I’m constantly on mental and emotional overload about it; tensions and anxiety are always running high.
I need structure and routine. Even more-so, my kids need structure and routine.
They need to know what to expect from day to day without a whole lot of wild cards thrown into the mix.
When our structure and routine is thrown into a tailspin at a moment’s notice, no one functions well.
I’m not a teacher. I never wanted to be a teacher. More than that, I most definitely don’t want to teach my kids. I don’t have the patience and they deserve better than what I have to offer.
Can I also note that doing preschool online is a joke?
It’s not the fault of our teacher; she’s amazing.
It’s because preschool was NEVER designed to be done through technology, in fact, technology in the preschool classroom is highly discouraged.
Everything is about being hands-on and interacting with others (which my daughter needs more than anything academic at this juncture).
Preschool online means mom having to review all the activities before-hand, then scrounge around for materials, then facilitate the activities all the while documenting with pictures and videos to confirm the work has been completed.
And what’s the toddler doing during this time? Wreaking havoc throughout the house in as loud a fashion as possible.
While I love the attempts and creativity to help keep the kids engaged, there’s some stuff I’m just not up for doing. We don’t do a whole lot of snacks in our house because our kids don’t eat their meals. Any activity snack related (and there’s one daily), I’m gonna need to pass. Finger painting with pudding? That’s a hard “no” from me.
I also feel it necessary to point out that in the grand scheme of things, obligations for preschool e-learning are minimal compared to all other higher grades.
So I approach the next school year with ambivalence.
Obviously a lot can change in the course of a handful of months, but the thought of having a preschooler and a kindergartener potentially tethered to devices while I attempt to be the teacher that I most certainly am not, all the while trying to keep a two and half year old occupied and entertained (and quiet) is not my dream.
Add in the inability to get, and stay, on a consistent schedule with routine and expectations clear and it’s a downright nightmare for my already over-stimulated brain.
Kudos to those of you who have had it much worse where online schooling is concerned this past year and much love to those sitting in the same boat I, anxiously (instead of excitedly) awaiting our next academic year.
I think we can all agree that teachers deserve a million dollars and this pandemic needs to go ahead and get things wrapped up.