Summer is gone, bye bye bye. Fall is here. Oh boy, time to run around and get everything perfect, right…? Not quite, do your best is the best starting place.
Feelings are running high, with anxiety from Parents, Teachers ane lets not forget the Children. What do we do? Some parents are concerned with sending their kids to school, going virtual, or hybrid. Each school comes with their specific policy that families need to abide by with great difficulties. Some parents dont have the necessary equipment for technology to keep their children home, who will watch them, no services for special needs and what about food preparation. While some parents want to be only virtual others want to send their kids to school this is due to the different needs of the parents and their environment; their perspectives.
We cannot neglect to mention the perspectives of the Teachers and the Students who need to be in the school first hand dealing with the issues.
Some teachers have their own families to worry about outside their class room and if they have children what will happen with them. Their are both spectrums with teachers as well, some are wanting to be in the classroom, while others want to be virtual as they feel their school is not prepared.
For students, some may not understand what is really happening, and they miss their friends and the school dynamic in addition to learning. Some students were very sick with Covid and saw family sick and dont want to put themselves at risk. Then again some are ready to go back and join in.
Many emotions, and fundamental rights that need to be digested on all levels. We all understand the questions as we have been hearing all the uncertainty but we are awaiting the answers. I dont have the answers, what I want to offer is coping with the situation. We do this through management. Our individual management of mindfulness, self-awareness and comfort levels.
The first step for management is possibly dissecting each level and reviewing the ideas for each group:
Management for parents, require a lot of patience as we may be indirectly impacted as we are not going back to school but our children are; Management for teachers, would be understanding and flexibility, this is hard because as a teacher we need to deal with education regulation and safety that is being restricted while balancing learning; and, Management for children, deal with emotions, anxiety, and of course safety as they dont control this but need to be confident with navigating it safety.
Expectations we all have, the question I would ask is are they realistic? We often range in expectation from a level of high, which is fantasy; and, low, which is brutal reality. The majority of the time we tend to be hopeful but this optimism can result into a higher level of expectation that might not give the same results. To keep our emotions stabilized we should lower the expectation, talk about our concerns, in order to get ahead of them with our families, children, parents and amongst the professionals. This will keep us healthier in our mindset no matter what we are managing when our expectations are first managed.
Let’s also discuss other challenges other than nerves, and health risks. We are also concerned about supplies, our children’s gear, and technology.
Some of the anxiety comes from getting the supply list correct. We often put a lot of pressure here. Blaming the teachers list or your child for needing the supplies wont help. Also, remember no child on their first day will need every crayon, marker, pencil, scissor, glue stick etc. Do the best you can. On my children’s first day of school, which was today, I forgot to give the teacher the box of tissues in my hand. When I arrived home it was in the passenger seat. I am sure he and his teacher will be fine, I will hand it over at pick up. No need to go overboard in blame and anger. We often see this kind of rage. Also, dont be angry about having to get the items on the list. The majority of teachers are underfunded in this area and they are responsible with providing your child a full curriculum of understanding so they ask for these items to aide your child. Can it be exaggerated, possibly at times. I must say, all my children have always used all their supplies and when asked only they used them. In the end it was for them.
School gear, oh boy this is a big one for me because I love Fashion. My sons all three started the new year with a fresh haircut from their pops who played the role as barber. They also got fresh clothes, which for some was a hand me down that looked brand new. All started with a feeling of love for themselves and content with their life and their position in it. The gear started in the brain. Self acceptance, love, patience and of course happiness.
This year we also did something very different, which might seem to much but all my children went to school with bullet proof bookbags, yes that is correct bullet proof. With the stress level of outside environments at an all time high, I need to almost guarantee their safety when we, the parents, are not present. We also live in a very safe and close community. However, you can never be certain of anyone’s stress and what you may not be obvious to the naked the eye. The bags look like black bookbags and have fun design. The children also know how to use them to guard themselves or friends neatby and are not advertising to anyone what they are. They all understand it is for their safety as well as the environment. We have entered a new era and even that is intense for me.
Lastly, technology as my children are fortunate to have chromebooks for school. I understand many dont have this and are forced to be virtual. I have seen many celebrities and other sponsorships step forward to make sure that children are not left behind.
Our foundation is where we need to start to make sure how we move forward is organized and together with our communities, the next step is supporting one and other by listening and being available to help whether it be communication, safety with masks, supplies etc.
The first day of school will be challenging to all for different reasons some bigger than others but we need to work together as we are all working for the same mutual goal are social health and safety as a society.
Today, I also start my first day of school for this semester I have two classes both have already posted assignments so I will get to that on this Fannytasticlife!
Take care and dont forget to share your first day school photos 🙂 You can check out my podcast below and hear all about it.