This year ObieQ has made the transition to PreK at a public school. This was a decision my husband and I came to months ago. We knew we would eventually want him at a public school. Why not start now? A break of daycare tuition. Going to school in our neighborhood, with opportunities to meet other families. What could go wrong? Enter COVID and the world of e-learning. We didn’t stress about it in the Spring. There is no way this could last into the fall…right? Well, here we are. ObieQ’s first day of virtual learning was yesterday and I would like to walk you through my 10 stages I experienced as we transitioned to virtual learning.
You might be reading this as a Mama who has it all together. Good for you Girl. You might not be able to relate… BUT if you are a Mama who almost poured a mimosa at 10am yesterday….pull up a chair, I am getting ready to tell our story!
Here in Chicago the powers that be went back and forth with different ideas of how this school year would look. In person with everyone in a mask. Everyone at home and teachers conduct classes online. Even a hybrid model was thrown around. A complicated system based on your comfort level and first letter of your last name. We all stayed tuned to this nail biter of a suspense story and the final answer was revealed. Public schools would be completely different this year. All virtual. As parents, we took a collective deep breath and thought “okay this is happening.”
2. Information hoarding:
The emails started immediately. From the CEO of the school system, from your individual school’s principal, from the Mayor. All giving you so much information. Here is a link to sign up for a Chromebook if you need it. Here is the link for your CPS password, your child needs an account for attendance. Every school will be using Google Classroom, except those that will be using Google Meet. Working parents just throw your whole job away. You are now your kid’s assistant. Update your LinkedIn accordingly
At this point it’s time for your virtual “Meet and Greet” with your teacher. You want to make a good first impression. You ask your husband to block out his calendar. You will attend sitting by my side. Showing you are a united front. You take this seriously, you even put on a bra. (This was probably the 4th time this has happened during quarantine) You have your pen and notebook. You are ready for the teacher to give you all the answers. During this meeting you realize his teacher was just as nervous as you are. She is receiving new information on the daily. She mentioned she had practiced her presentation numerous times to make sure it was just right. It was then you realize: We are all in this together.
The email you have been waiting for arrives. The sample schedule. You wonder if the person that wrote this has ever met a child. Specifically if they have met YOUR child. How is this going to work? This is never going to work. *looks over at ObieQ jumping off your couch for 100th time today* Lettuce Pray.
Suddenly your social media feed is full of Mamas creating these personalized 3D boards just for their kids. Families are carving out space so their kid can work and focus. Alright you got this. On top of you and your husband both working from home you have to find space in your city condo for your child to have their own office. Got it! The rest of your nights are spent on Pinterest and Amazon.
6. ‘Twas the night before virtual learning:
Spoiler alert…Mama doesn’t sleep. Will they be able to see my child as the curious charming kid he is? Am I transferring my anxiety to my child? Did I lay out first day of school clothes? Do I still take pictures? They keep stressing don’t be late. Should I just log on now?
Thousands of parents are trying to log on at the same time. You and your husband have 3 degrees between you but neither of you can figure out how to change your son’s display name. You are also all jazzed up on caffeine so you are freaking out. Fussing at your husband. He works in tech, why can’t he figure this out? Luckily your chromebook is on mute and the rest of the class doesn’t hear your meltdown….or is it?
8. Coming to Jesus:
This is a hot mess. You can’t get any work done. You have timed the day out wrong and forgot your responsibility as lunch lady. ObieQ is hungry and hiding under the table. Kids are crying. The teacher is doing her best. Does anyone know if it is appropriate to send wine to a school in the middle of the afternoon? AFAF
9. We survived:
Exhale. It has to get better from here…right? As soon as you log off, you anxiously start texting your friends. We all feel the same. Alexa-Play Destiny Child “Survivor”
Wait..What? We have to do this again tomorrow? Then everyday after that for the foreseeable future? ObieQ it’s time to learn a new term: Gap Year