Happy First Day of School! I hear some of you muttering, “what’s so good about it?” under your breath as you read this and I hear you. Bear with me; I have some thoughts, prayers, and well wishes for you. Take a moment to read as you start a new day in a new school year with a new routine and rhythm. Here are my well wishes for you as you head down this new path:
For the parents sending their kids out of the house for school: I pray for deep calming breaths, well-fitting masks and children who remember to wash their hands and not hug every single friend. May your kids see your strength and calm and be strong and calm themselves. Have patience with everyone, including yourself. Sending a lunchbox note tomorrow instead of today is fine.
For the parents leaving their kids at home for remote school while you go to work: My wishes for you include trust in whomever is helping your kids. I hope you have a day that is just busy enough to not obsess over what’s happening at home. May you order pizza for dinner tonight and not feel guilty for it.
For the teachers going to teach students in person: I hope for correctly worn masks and appropriate social distancing. May you remember why you wanted to be a teacher, and see results from all the work you’ve put in over the last several weeks and months.
For the teachers teaching remotely: I wish for you perfectly working technology, alert and engaged students, and a feeling of accomplishment when you log off tonight. Be gentle to yourself. May you find something to laugh joyfully at today.
For the parents who are also teachers and everyone’s learning/teaching at home: May you have the bandwidth, both emotionally and technologically, to make it through your day. Pass on whatever joy you receive and take comfort that everyone’s learning together. I hope your lunch break aligns with your child’s so you can see a human in person.
For the parents who are suddenly unpaid teacher’s aides and everyone’s at home: I pray for working parents to have understanding bosses. Well wishes for math questions you can answer, and for beautiful weather during outside time. Also for a day with no meetings so you can steal away to help your children.
May you all have patience and understanding with your kids and their parents and their teachers. (This includes yourself, wherever you fall in this scenario.) May you not expect everything to go perfectly, and yet be pleasantly surprised. I pray for calm waters and a strong boat. Bear hugs for your own kids and air fives for everyone else. Be easy on everyone, including yourself. Have a great first week, and don’t forget to take a first week of school picture!