Back to in person school, thoughts on this

March 16th if I remember correctly was the last day my 1st grader had in person schooling. What seems like eons ago virtual schooling started and to put it mildly it was maddening. While the technical issues were not astounding, you multiply those times two kids, two adults trying to help two kids in a tag in/out situation, and not a lot of non-schoolwork was getting done.

Metro Nashville did not return to in-person schools right off the bat. They’re trying a phased in approach with the k-2 going back this week, and I think 3-4 go back next week. Parents were given the option to go virtual or in person, however if you chose to stay or go you would either stick with or lose your child’s teacher. The teachers are not teaching both virtual and in-person at the same time.

My 5yo’s kindergarten teacher was my 7yo’s. I wrote to her when I found out about the plans and asked what her thoughts were. If she remained virtual we were probably going to stay at home as I can’t tell you how hard it was to get my oldest into shape like she did. She was planning to go back in person and essentially exist in her apartment and school.

I checked with my 7yo’s teacher who also was for going back in person. The choice was made. If there’s a breakout we’re back at home, but for now the only area-wide school breakouts appear to be unrelated to classes (football, parties, etc.)

The adults in this equation are mostly working remote, and practicing every form of not spreading the virus possible so we’re hopefully just an end-link on a potential chain. I’ve got what would be considered an underlying condition so I’m taking this pretty seriously (my weight = underlying condition, my lung condition when I was 8 years old and had bronchitis all the time would also be considered an underlying condition, betting being a vegetarian probably would be thrown on there somehow too.)

If we’re sending them back, we’re not going to cause more harm is the goal. So far I’m told that the masks are not a big problem after two half days, one full day.

Yesterday was the first full day. The kids were out, we didn’t have to stop fights, negotiate truces, feed them, or listen to what sounds like wildebeests running through a china shop nonstop all day. What new-normally would have been a day that started at 6am ended around 6pm for me was mostly completed at 11:20am. I used the remaining time to mow while attending a couple of conference calls, set up appointments, chop up a tree, do a ton of yard work, and when that was done it was about 2pm.

When the kids got home, the house was cleaned, work done, and fun could be had. The kids were exhausted however and decided to revert to little crapheads, but they’re getting used to actually waking up before 7:50 on a regular basis. No more rolling out of bed trudging to the laptops, and eating breakfast while listening to the principal’s morning announcements.

We’ll see.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.