Wednesday, April 1, 2020

So there is this..

None of us have written in a while and there is no excuse for it. We are sorry.

I started the following as a post for parents in our communication app but it is something I think more than just my parents need to hear. Maybe something you are feeling too. It's been hard lately. It is going to continue to be hard. My third graders are having a hard time. I am having a hard time. Maybe you are having a hard time too. I am sorry. There is nothing I can do to make it all go away for the kids or anyone really but I do have some things to say. I hope it resonates with you too.

Dear Parents,
Things are getting harder. Emotions are raw, for the kids and the adults. We know. We feel the same way. We miss you. We miss our classroom. We miss our routines. We are going to make the best of this situation for as long as we need to. It isn't ideal but it is what we have and we are fortunate that we can meet via Meets and Hangouts. So many districts don't even have that.

We have spoken with several students this week about how they are feeling and how to redirect our thoughts when we feel like crying. Some of the common ideas that have come up:
*Take a bubble bath
*Take a walk/exercise
*Listen to music and dance/sing
*Go outside and watch the clouds to see if you can make objects out of what you see
*Talk to your best friend (Meet, phone, Google Hangouts)
*Reread a favorite book
*Play a game with someone
*Ask for/give hugs
*Eat chocolate
*and last but not least, cry if you feel you need to

This is a sad time and in no way do we want to negate the way anyone is feeling. It is hard. This is more than any of us thought it would be but we will get through it together. We are still a class even if we can't be in the same room together we will have shared experiences. (More on that to come.)

Many of the students are struggling with their parents suddenly being their teachers. This isn't the job you signed up for. It isn't the job we wanted to hand over but there it is and we will make the most of it. Do what you can. Leave what you can't. It is the trying that is the most important. Yes, we want the work done but we also don't want to break anyone. The kids feel like there is so much more to do now when in reality it is a lot less than what we do each day in school. But in school they have partners, they work in groups, they get breaks with their friends. At home they don't have the breaks with their friends, you (as much as you are trying, and we love you for that) "are not teaching it the right way" because "that isn't the way Ms. V/Ms. Ryan do it." We know. We see you. We understand. We are all trying to do our best. The kids are too. Please, please, have them login during the small groups, take advantage of the parent meeting times to discuss things with us, and maybe even have your child nearby to listen in and share. We want the kids to know that we are there for each one of them - not just the ones who share the most online.

We are going to survive this, we will be together again at some point - even if we have to meet at a park with social distancing. Nothing will ever be the same as it was. Nothing is going to be the way we wanted it to be as we approach the coming weeks. We will make it special. We will make it memorable. Not because of the difficulties, but in spite of them.

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