What. A. Mess.
Here in the States, He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named is pressuring schools to fully reopen for classes this fall.
All the while limiting federal funding to schools, causing states and counties to have to make budget cuts to already woefully underfunded schools.
Like I said, it’s a mess.
Our local school board has offered two options for the fall semester this year:
- 100% distance learning, using online platforms and video call-ins.
- Hybrid model, where children go to school two days a week and do distance learning for the other three.
Parents are required to choose one option by next week. The choice is binding for the fall semester, and once made it cannot be changed.
Making A Choice…
We talked about it, considered the options, read and listened to information from health officials and from the school board.
We also thought about what is best for our rising kindergartener, what he needs in a learning environment.
We logged onto the parent portal and made our selection. No going back now.
…And Sticking To It
And then the doubt set in.
I made the mistake of logging onto social media to see what others had chosen.
Many people have remained quiet, but many are extremely vocal about their choice. And those most vocal had chosen the other option.
Immediately, I started to question my decision. Did I have all the facts? Did we really make the best choice for our child? Or did we choose the most convenient option for ourselves?
The more I cogitated, the more anxious I became. I worked myself up into nearly a frenzy when I remembered that once made, the selection cannot be changed.
My Calming Force
I melted into tears, I was convinced we had made the wrong choice!
And then I spoke to my husband.
Have I mentioned on this blog how wonderful the man is? [Quick pat on the back to myself for choosing a great husband.]
He quietly listened to my fears. His calming presence and soothing “Mmhmms” and “Uh-huhs” calmed me down. He then, very wisely, reminded me of a key fact:
Nobody has the right answer.
This is a scary situation. The schools are doing their best to keep children and staff members safe. Parents want to make the best decision for their families.
And while the CDC and state health departments can offer guidance, they do not have all the answers.
No one does.
So, my Chico lovingly told me, there is no wrong choice. There are two right choices, and we must pick the one we feel is best for our family.
And those people, he said, who are so forceful and seemingly confident about their choice on social media are simply trying to convince themselves that they have made the right decision.
But of course they have. Because it is the right decision for their family. And we have made the right decision for ours.
It’s Done, Anyway
I felt better immediately.
But even if I hadn’t, there’s not a whole lot I could do about it. Our choice is made, and though I have doubts and insecurities, deep down I feel that it is the right decision for our family.
We’ll see where it goes, what happens in the fall. What is clear is that if this pandemic takes off again, no one will have any choice at all: the schools will shut down.
In the meantime, we’re wearing masks, washing our hands and choosing to trust our own judgment. A judgment based on the information that is available to us.
A Special Word to School Staff
Stay safe, everyone. Especially school staff.
We love you and value you.
And I will make this promise: I promise to vote whenever possible for the candidate whose platform highlights school funding, so that all schools have the ability to keep their staff and students safe in this pandemic.