Well, we officially have two weeks of the new normal behind us and two weeks of a new holiday normal ahead of us. As a teacher, as a mother, as a person during this pandemic it has taken some adjustments to find our new routine. We are a community of forward planners; what we will eat for lunch, who we will visit at the weekend, where we will go on holiday in 6 months time. The unknown end to this pandemic is the thing, I think, that scares us the most. Yes the uncertainly of catching the illness, the worry of loosing a loved one are high up on the worry list for sure… but this sense of ‘when will this all end?’ ranks highest as it is the most unknown.
However, we are also a community of positive thinkers. This has been evident from the many, many online companies relinquishing their fees, communities supporting their vulnerable and the key workers of the nation stepping up to give their all for our country. Becoming more thankful for the simple things… a hug, a slow dance, toilet roll… are surely the things we will take from this moving forward.
One thing that has surprised me entirely is the reaction to school closures. Something I don’t think any of us ever expected to be a thing we’d have to react to. Yes we’ve had snow days, school floods and general closures but never on a long term scale. Everyone has rallied round and found a way to make this work for them. The idea was never to replicate school within the home. The idea was to equip parents with the tools and strategies to entertain and keep their children busy.
As a teacher I had to rethink my approach to the classroom. I love my class. I love my children. I love seeing them and listening to their stories each day. I love watching their response to my lessons or as I read a chapter of our class novel. Adapting to being a virtual teacher was hard but I have AMAZING parents who literally gave me the support to support them. Win Win.
As a parent I had to be strong and honest (as honest as I felt necessary). I had to structure my time to ensure she had enough of me, but give her the ability to entertain herself. We’ve spent time baking, gardening, reading, learning, movie watching, drawing, writing, playing. Evelyn has some understanding of what is going on right now, but not enough to worry her. She’s learnt about keeping her distance and washing her hands. The past two weeks have been different in some ways, but not in others. We’ve had tantrums and crying, arguments and sulking. BUT that is normal. That was the old normal. Merging the two together into some sort of harmony is key to keeping your head above water.
However you coped the last few weeks. Well done. Well done parents and children. There is no right or wrong answer here. Schools may reach out to touch base but I guarantee it’s to check you are okay. I know I speak for all the teachers out there when I say that we want what’s best for our children, if this is what’s best then we want to be there through it with you.