It’s official: Parents Will Wear “Teacher” Hats Until the School Year Ends. But What’s Next?

When Governor Ned Lamont announced this week that Connecticut schools would remain closed through June, I wasn’t surprised. I did, though, feel a bit deflated. It has been a long road, and another six weeks felt like too much. Like an extended jail sentence. Like the groundhog seeing his shadow after winter had already cancelled all of the fun during a brutal winter.

But the truth is, I don’t dread another month plus of homeschooling. It won’t be easy, but I have figured it out. I will power through. What terrifies me are the eleven weeks after that, until school supposedly starts again in September. Eleven weeks.

For all of it’s stresses, school provides a purpose and structure and deadlines.

Without it, I imagine a tailspin of long, hot, pointless days. I realize this sounds heavenly to some moms. But to those of us who thrive on predictability, it all evokes an unhealthy dose of anxiety. I feel daunted by entertaining my two older kids, but add my feisty toddler to the equation and I’m scared.

The unknowns are swirling about the impending “new normal”:

  • Will there be camp? And would I even send our children?
  • Will the Town allow social distancing at the beach or playground? And will kids really be asked to wear sunscreen and a mask at the same time?
  • How will I inject schoolwork into longer, hotter days so the “summer slide” doesn’t become a canyon of lost math and reading skills?

I ask because even my avid reader/rule-follower/people-pleaser child is losing steam. I anticipate added pushback when it’s mom assigning the work rather than a beloved teacher.

Which all brings us back to the understatement of the year: God bless teachers!

As the daughter of two public school teachers, the appreciation runs deep. I would never – could never! – teach my children on my own, and that is why they are my heroes.

Our family has already decided that the first hugs when this pandemic is over will go to Mrs. Connolly and Ms. Bentley, the two Fairy Godmothers who have nurtured my babies virtually through distance learning. My kids adore them.  Their little faces literally light up every morning while watching their teacher’s daily video.

Above all, these women are my accidental business partners and I’m so grateful we’re investing, together, in my precious children.

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