The Sixth First Day of School

Photo by Anton Sukhinov on Unsplash

Each year, I mark my daughter’s first day of school with a blog post. (You can see past ones here, here, here, here, and here). She started fifth grade today. Her last year of elementary school. That’s crazy. But, much like last year, school and grades and things like that aren’t uppermost in my mind as she starts the year. Instead, I’m dwelling on the fact that we’re starting our second full year of Pandemic Schooling. Oy.

On the positive side, the kids are used to masks and social distancing and all the protocols by now. Last year, starting school during a pandemic was big and scary. This year, it’s kind of ho-hum. On the negative side, many adults are not being as vigilant as they were a year ago. It can be hard to get kids to do the right things when we’re not setting a great example.

There has been less communication from the school and district than I’d like. I suppose there are probably parents who think there has been too much communication, so maybe I should be thankful for what I get. And, the communications I do get feel like they’re hemming, hawing, and hedging every chance they get. There’s a simple rule when dealing with kids (or customers or voters or anyone really), it is easier to start off too strict and then relax things than it is to start off too lax and then tighten them. It shouldn’t have taken weeks for the Governor to decide that masks were necessary for a month. Go into things assuming it will be the whole year. If we can take the masks off early, good for us.

Hopefully, when they approve the vaccine for younger kids, I’ll be able to relax myself. I might even get curious about whatever math, history, and science my daughter is learning about. Right now, I just want her to stay safe. I really, really, really, really hope that this isn’t even a concern when she gets to middle school.

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