Cheers to Virtual School 2020-2021

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Cheers to Virtual School 2020-2021Virtual school? We never saw it coming. None of us ever dreamed a worldwide pandemic would take away our field trips, May day, and spring fun. The 2019-2020 school year was abrupt and difficult as it came to a screeching halt about eight weeks too soon. Kindergartners and seniors everywhere mourned milestones, but made new memories that would someday be a big part of our history. Months later, as August crept around the corner, we tip-toed into the unknown territory of trying to continue educating children during a global pandemic. As this school year comes to a close, I’m reflecting on what might be the weirdest school year ever. Everyone had to adapt, but the education system was turned upside down and had to be completely revamped — digitally.

Cheers to the teachers who dropped everything they learned to relearn new skills related to virtual teaching.

Navigating Google slides, Microsoft Office, Zoom calls, and Teams meetings, in ADDITION to the virtual teaching platform software. Some were synchronous this year, trying to keep tiny children engaged through a screen. Some of us were asynchronous, working to map out and organize lessons for students to pace themselves accordingly. Some teachers were hybrid and managed to do both virtual and in person learning at the same time (which…on a personal note…are y’all doing okay? That seems so hard.)

Cheers to the parents who had to make some tough calls this year.

Virtual school is not necessarily accommodating to the homes with two working parents, single parent households, or households with many children. Weighing the pros and cons of keeping your child distanced and out of schools for the remainder of the year is emotionally taxing on any parent. It’s hard to come home from a long shift just to hassle your child about their homework. I know sometimes it feels like an endless struggle. I know it feels like the days run together and get harder. I see you.

Cheers to the virtual students.

I saved the best for last. Your resilience is powerful. This year, you practiced independence on a whole new level. You learned how to troubleshoot computer problems, send emails, and complete online school work at a very young age. It’s been hard for you this year because your social life looks different, and I know you miss lunchroom giggles and recess. It will get better, I promise. As April turns to May and warm weather comes knocking, just think: You accomplished a school year for the history books. Someday you’ll be telling your grandchildren how you walked 10 miles in the snow completed an entire school year online during a pandemic.

Next year, the virtual school option might cease to exist, but your courage and perseverance will not. I know you’ll be great wherever your education takes you.

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I live in La Follette, TN with my husband Luke and our 3 children: Amelia (8), Lincoln (3), and Arthur (newborn). I'm a kindergarten teacher in the public school system and I absolutely love what I do. I'm very passionate about education and the well-being of children all over the world. I like to write about my experiences as both a mother and a teacher. Balancing both is really tricky, and I'm still getting the hang of it. My husband, who I truly believe is the world's best father, is an auctioneer at his family business Longmire Realty & Auction Co. While we love our jobs, we value family time the most. We spend a lot of time outdoors and love to go camping all over the east coast.

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