It seems like everyone has had his or her own opinions about starting school back in person this week.
Some are for it, some are a little apprehensive, and some are flat out against it. Some people have let those opinions be known widely across social media, and others are just sitting back and taking it one day at a time.
Many of those people who are airing out their opinions are forgetting about one important aspect – throwing our support behind anyone involved in the reopening of schools, whether it be superintendents, school boards, administration, teachers or students.
As we have seen during the last five months or so, there are no easy solutions when it comes to managing this pandemic or figuring out what the right and wrong things to do are. It’s often a lose-lose situation and one that changes daily, and one of the areas that has been dealing with its unpredictability the most have been our school districts.
They have spent the last couple of months firming up their plans for reopening, working out balancing student and staff safety with their ability to provide each student with the best possible education. They know there are so many unknowns still ahead of us such as how many people within a school might possibly test positive, if there will be closures or not or the changing of tried and true practices they have been doing for years.
Personally, I have so much admiration for all involved in this transition, whether it be the administration or the teachers.
I know so many of these people personally as well, whether it’s from talking with administration at games or the teachers who are also the coaches that I have worked with for the last few years.
Throughout the last couple of weeks, I have seen so many of them express a joy to be back in the school and to be getting ready to welcome their students back. I’m sure, deep down, there are fears and uncertainties, but they are all choosing to focus on the positives and get back to what they love doing. It’s been refreshing to see that optimism, and those are the kind of attitudes that others can feed off of during these difficult times.
We have also seen the ones on the negative end of things discredit those who have said the kids need to be in school to both optimize their learning and also for the psychological and social aspect – despite the fact that there have been experts backing those opinions as well.
One thing I have always strived to do since beginning this job and interacting with kids is to remember what it felt like to be one myself. I have thought so often from that perspective during this pandemic and how I would feel at that age to be isolated and away from so many things that I enjoyed or that felt normal to me.
If we can give kids pieces of that back right now – and do it in a safe manner, then why wouldn’t that be the goal? After all, shouldn’t their futures be the most important factor we are considering?
While a family atmosphere definitely has the most impact, I think of all the people who made an impact in my life throughout my school years – the teachers, my amazing band directors, even a few friends that I still have in my life today. I wonder where I would be without all the extracurriculars that shaped who I am and taught me responsibility, dedication and to have a strong work ethic.
That’s some of the many things kids can get from being in school, and we have so many people working towards making that happen in the right way. Let’s send them all our good vibes as they get back into the classroom this week. Why would we not be rooting for them to succeed?