As a Parent First

 

As a parent (first) and educator (second), I am very conflicted about the reopening of schools in the coming months. I’ve seen the struggles that my own children have dealt with for the past four months. I recognize that children aren’t meant to be kept apart from everything that they normally experience. But, I also recognize that our schools may not be ready to manage any of this in a safe way.

If schools reopen as normal, I will be expected to be leading the charge in my role as a building administrator. My job will be to keep students, staff, and families safe. Based on how I have always performed my job, I will give everything I can to ensuring that students are safe. 

At the same time, I will need to send my own children off to three different schools, and ask that other administrators and teachers take the same care that I am taking in order to protect my children. I know that these schools may be understaffed, underfunded, and underprepared for what we will be asking them to do. I’m not sure that anyone can wrap their head around the management and logistics of what we are asking educators to take on. This is the reason that we see such a wide variance in reopening plans, and with every proposed safety measure comes a dozen questions about how we will accomplish it. I don’t know that anyone truly has the answers in how to do this and keep our children and teachers safe. 

I know that our children need to get back to school. They need to see their friends. They need to walk down the hall for the first time to experience what middle school is like. They need to be able to run around on the playground. They need to find connections with teachers who will help them grow as learners. They need everything that school can be. 

I’m conflicted about the reopening of schools, because I don’t want to risk the health and safety of my own children or anyone else’s children or the educators who would be trying to take this on. 

I don’t understand it. 

And I can’t understand why we are being asked to make this decision.

 

Rich