So many school children will begin a new year via Zoom and other platforms. No hugs, no high fives, and no notes passed around the classroom. The teachers will be in charge as usual and parents will need to monitor for the most part.
I taught all levels including graduate students and I cannot imagine what this beginning of the school year will be like for youngsters just starting their education. My 5 year-old granddaughter will not be able to use her brand new unicorn design soup thermos for a while. That made her sad.
She received a basket full of workbooks, handouts, and curriculum guidelines and schedules. She was also lucky to receive an HP laptop for her to use during the virtual classroom meetings. As a grandparent I was so looking forward to walking her to school, taking her picture in front of the classroom door and waiting for her to get back to fill me in on all the details about her first day. I had to put on a happy face for her and try not to show my disappointment. But I suppose that for all kindergarteners this may be a way of school life for a while. It may be the new normal and we the grandparents will have to deal with it. (I hope not.)
I remember my mother narrating my first day of school. She told me I walked right in and did not even look back to say goodbye. Her eyes would always tear up a little because for her I had started a whole new experience without her by my side. In comparison my daughter has accepted this new way of learning. She did a great job at home schooling towards the end of last school term. But it was pre-school and most moms are the teachers at that point.
My granddaughter will wear her new dress and use her new pencils and crayons. But she will not put her new jacket and Frozen themed lunch box in the cubby hole labeled with her name. These little things may seem trivial within the bigger scheme of things but to me they made that first day so special. I remember my daughter’s first day. She rode the school bus labeled the red rabbit. We followed the bus in our car and watched as she got off with the help of the bus aide. She came back home so excited because she made a friend named Maya. The teacher pinned a note on her sweater that said, “We all had a beautiful day”.
I hope COVID-19 will fade away soon and that the infections and deaths will diminish significantly. All we can do is continue to be vigilant of the signs of COVID-19. We must continue to follow the guidelines and know that we are not home free yet.
I want to wish all children a wonderful school year be it in-person, or on-line or both. Most of all I wish for them to remain healthy along with their parents, teachers and school personnel. God bless you and God bless America.
Some Quotes to Ponder
“You’re off to great to great places. Today is your first day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!
“Wisdom begins in wonder.” -Socrates
“My number one goal at the end of the first day is not that they know the rules and consequences. It’s that they’re excited to be part of the class. That they run home to their parents and say, “Oh my gosh. I have the best teacher. I have this awesome class. It’s going to be great.” -Unknown