Patience will go a long way
Talk about your rock and your hard place, just think about the dilemma facing K-12 school officials this fall. On the one hand, perhaps the worst thing they can do for kids in terms of their health is bring them all back to school on Sept. 1. But then again, for their mental health and education, perhaps the worst thing they can do is not bring them all back to school. Anybody want to volunteer to solve that one?
With the usual school start date less than six weeks away now, we canâ€™t imagine the depth of discussion on issues that must be going on in school administrator offices. Instead of the usual planning for bringing hundreds of children and dozens of staff members back for a new year, there are such perplexing issues as how to keep little kids socially distanced on school buses, or what to do if the kids and teachers come back and a few of them contract COVID-19, or how do you keep all kids on the same page if some of them are at home and some of them are in the classroom.
What do you do for kids at home when their family has inadequate internet service and youâ€™re trying to teach online? How do you give parents some sort of plan with their daycare and job needs when you donâ€™t know for sure yourself what the best plan is? How do you budget for a school year when you donâ€™t know if youâ€™ll be in session four days a week or two? How do you keep children engaged in subjects that donâ€™t lend themselves to virtual teaching? How can you expect kids and teachers/staff members to come in to an environment where they could become ill when they may have a compromised family member at home?
One thing that is clear -- nobody knows for sure how this school year will/should play out. This is new territory for everyone involved; the manual on how this situation should be approached is being written and revised each day. That said, the one thing that can most help school officials get through this is to your patience, to allow them to try to teach your kids in the way they think is best, and to alter those plans as situations change. In our dealings with local school leaders and teachers, one thing weâ€™ve found they have in excess is dedication and concern for their students, and that is foremost in their minds as they wade through the autumâ€™s unique problems. It wonâ€™t be easy for anyone, thatâ€™s a certainty, and your patience and support is what theyâ€™ll need most.
Members of the TRG editorial Board include Publisher Kris Oâ€™Leary, Editor Dean Lesar, and Carol Oâ€™Leary.