What if more kids fall behind because of remote learning?
What if we have positive cases in school, and the teacher needs to quarantine?
What if my child can’t breathe well in a mask?
What if my school doesn’t require masks, and that makes me nervous?
What if my child doesn’t learn what they need to learn to move on to college, high school, or 2nd grade next year?
What if day care facilities close, and teachers no longer have childcare?
What if schools require teachers to do both in person and remote teaching, and both groups suffer?
What if parents mask their students’ symptoms with medications before dropping them off at school because they need to work?
There are a lot of what ifs as we begin another school year. Students have what ifs. Parents have what ifs. Teachers have what ifs. Administrators have what ifs. It seems some schools are more intentional about identifying potential problems and exploring possible solutions than others. As with any other situation, when communication is open and people are listened to well, there is less unrest. However, I doubt there is a single school district who is secure in their decisions with no push back from anyone in the community.
There are always what ifs as a school year begins—not exactly the same what ifs being amplified by COVID but what ifs nonetheless. COVID is creating and amplifying challenges, but it’s also revealing some of our flaws and strengths—as individuals, organizations, and institutions.
What are you learning about yourself? What’s happening in the places you work, shop, and interact? What conversations and concerns do you have? How well are you listening and cooperating? Do you tend toward spouting and spewing?
We often focus on the results we want. We want COVID (and other) challenges to be solved our way. But that’s not going to happen. We can’t all have it our way. Our way, just like any other way, has negative effects on others even if we only see the benefits to ourselves.
It’s important to raise concerns. It’s important to bring attention to what ifs so people have more pieces of the puzzle and consider collaborative solutions. But it’s also important to move forward with the what is right now. It can change. It will change. We can be a part of that change. In the meantime, it’s changing us—some for the better and some for the worse.