Back To School Night
The other night was Back to School Night for my son's high school. Of course since school is all remote (at least until November; when the 2nd quarter begins), this annual event looked a little different. The administrative portion was pre-recorded and you could choose who to listen to and when. (Or who not to...did I say that?) Classes were 10 minutes long and teachers had the option to pre-record a presentation (which 4 of my son's 9 teachers did) or do present via Google Meet.
I know all teachers are working really hard to make this school year work. (I think for the most part, EVERYONE is working really hard to make this year work!) So this year, more than ever, I wanted to make sure that I attended.
I have to say that doing Back to School Night via computer was less stressful and easier than in person. Sure I had to clean up my office somewhat. (I had to make sure that I kept the door shut so that the camera wouldn't see anyone going in and out of the bathroom. The office door and bathroom door are right across from each other and that could have led to some interesting situations!) I also tried to make myself somewhat presentable. (Let's face it, when I'm online all day with no visual meeting, I'm NOT looking my best.) I don't know how well I pulled it off seeing how it was the end of the day (and I'm NOT a night person) and my allergies were killing me. (Gotta love the watery eyes and runny red nose look.) However, all of that pales in comparison to going out to the high school and running from class to class. (Despite the physical building being small; it's still easy to get lost when you are trying to find your kid's class.) I hope it was easier for the teachers too...at least this way they didn't have to stay in the school building from before 8 AM till after 8 PM. Although I would have loved to been able to meet them face to face; there is something to be said for doing the whole thing from the comfort of your own home.
With that said, I really enjoyed this year's virtual back to school. All of his teachers seem to be committed to making this year as good as possible. I've seen incredible flexibility coupled with responsibility. For example, his art teacher made a list of must haves (which was blissfully short) and optional items, while also making very clear that if a student was unable to get "must haves" to reach out to her so that accommodations could be made. Or the history teacher who allows work to be submitted past the assigned deadline as long as they submit a late form to her when the assignment is due and that form has a new date (that is chosen by the student) when the work will be submitted that must be adhered to. Or the English teacher who created a list of books, many of which are more contemporary (I had never heard of several of them!) from which the individual student could decide which two he or she wanted to read during the second half of the year. I could have an example for every class!
In a nutshell, I what I am trying to say is that I am thrilled that during this time of chaos, the teachers I have interacted with (and my son has been blessed with) have all risen to the occasion. They have taken crazy and made it creative. They show care and compassion. While I have always respected teachers (and specifically my son's), they have elevated themselves to a new level this year.
Thank you teachers. I have always thought you were amazing; now you have confirmed it. You have been and are here for my son and know that I am here for you. (Especially as the school transitions from all remote to hybrid in early November.) Thank you. Thank You. THANK YOU!
And as always, stay safe and stay well; because we really need you!