May 4, 2020
Well, it’s been a month since we have all retreated indoors and started figuring out ways
to support our kids in their learning at home.
It’s not been easy; the uncertainty, the balancing act of all of a sudden having your
children at home all the time and the pressure of everything else that’s happening.
Personally, I value my kids’ teachers now more than ever. I am grateful for moments
when both kids are tucked into a book or they’re imagining what life will be like when
this is all over. I am also grateful to have the distraction of my kids when life feels
uncertain and overwhelming.
All of us are trying to navigate what this pandemic means for our own lives and the lives
of those we care about. I have been thinking a lot about the community that springs up
around our schools and how not having that community, in the way that we are used to,
feels like a loss for so many.
Our school communities support and inspire not just our children but we as parents, as
well. I encourage you to reach out to the people around you and ask for help if you need
it. For example, Edmonton Public Schools has been working really hard to ensure
access to technology like Chrome books for kids who need it, and that families that
have been supported through breakfast and lunch programs continue to receive the
support they need. Schools are more than just classrooms and playgrounds; they are
hubs in our communities where people come together. We need these communities
now more than ever. We are stronger together, even if it means we are together six feet
apart or tethered through an internet connection.
In this strange time we also have to remember that we are asking our children to make
a sacrifice. We, under the guidance of our rock star of a Chief Medical Officer of Health,
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, have told our kids to stay home, to postpone hanging out with their
friends... and that they can’t go to school, for now. We have told them to do this so that
others can be safe and remain healthy. Our own kids and our neighbourhood kids are
listening to us and making a sacrifice, not for themselves but for our community. They
are doing this for people they know, but also people they don’t know and will never
know. Kids are doing their part. They're stepping up and doing what’s best. That’s
commendable and should be celebrated.
Just imagine the celebration we will all have when this is over!
In the meantime we can find hope in the belief that our community will be stronger when
we come back together, to the place that we call home.
Please, if you have questions or concerns reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column was originally published in Rat Creek Press.