This is a repost of a poignant message from Michael Simons this morning:
8:09 a.m. on the first day of home-based instruction, and one of my kiddos is in tears – lightweight, but tears nonetheless — about an assignment, guidelines for doing a thing. (It's NOT a big deal — and I'm thrilled for the instruction from the teacher; it's something I teach my HS students about in design, but it set my kiddo off this morning.)
So - tears. 8:09 a.m.
I think we're all in shock. Maybe a low-grade, creeping shock, but shock nonetheless. I'm sure there's an official term for it.
But — please be patient with your kids. Your children. Please. Moreover, be patient with yourselves. This is all surreal, and NONE of us are going to get it right.
None. Of. Us. Are. Going. To. Get. This. Right.
We're doing the best we can. And we're packed into our homes - places of comfort and togetherness. Well - shit just got real. We're going to have a whoooole lot of togetherness for the foreseeable future.
Routines are going to be crucial. Kids need them. Hell, *I* need them. We do better on routine. Routine will keep us from parking it on the couch for six hours a day for the next eight weeks. Routines will keep us moving, learning, growing, exercising, and so much more. Structure will matter.
But — let's acknowledge something here. I saw a couple of my students yesterday as they were picking up flutes and learning packets and graphing calculators and jackets and all the rest of it.
"How are you doing?", I asked.
Every. Single. One.
And I learned this from someone, somewhere, in the way back machine, and I've remembered it, and I replied with it:
"Hey. Hey - it's ok to NOT be ok. It is. I'm not ok, and if you're not either, that's ok."
Can we acknowledge our not-ok-ness right now? Together?
And can we recognize that as we embark on this new reality together, our 12-year-old sons in tears on their tablets as they get ready to sign into class, well, they're not ok. And that's ok. And we need to be there for our children.
And each other. And we need to do the best we can. And give each other — and these precious, precious kids — some grace. Some flexibility.
Some laughter and fun.
We're taking things one day at a time. And we've set up nooks for the boys to use on the regular for their distance learning. Routinely, you might say.
But more tears will come. I've already shed some myself.
I'm not ok.
And that's ok.
Michael Simons is a high school teacher & advisor in the Corning-Painted Post School District
Reposted with permission.
Photo credit: Maxwell Harvey-Sampson