It’s not what you think it is. Let me explain.
My son is 5 years old, and last year was in his 2nd year of kindergarten (there are 3 kindergarten years in Lebanon, the 1st being actually Preschool). Last year, he barely went to school. There was the Lebanese Revolution in October 2019 up until New Year’s Eve. Then there were fires and floods and school was out. Then came the pandemic. There was no online learning last year, just weekly assignments.
This year began with online learning. It took a while to adjust, but we got used to it. Yesterday they announced that he will start in person learning on Monday. So one week in person followed by one week online and so on and so forth. They split the number of students in two, and they’re taking all the precautions possible, including masks, sanitizers and not sharing personal items, so that’s not what I’m worried about.
I am worried that my son needs to adjust to wearing a mask since he hasn’t worn one since the beginning of the pandemic (I have been wearing a mask since March). My son is also very neat and clean so I’m not worried about that either.
What am I so terrified about?
Believe it or not, it’s interacting with the teachers and other parents. If you’ve been reading my blogs for long enough, you probably know I have social anxiety. I try not to let it define me and I try to overcome it, until my body reminds me of it.
My anxiety is going through the roof right now.
Not only am I worried about getting my son to cope in his new grade with new classmates (because his friends from last year are not with him this year), I also had to explain about the precautions and about how this is all temporary because if more people get infected, they’ll probably close the schools again and that they are concerned about his safety.
But you should have seen me last night, calmly explaining everything to my 5 year old as I got his books ready and making it seem like this was all so exciting (I’m such a liar 🤥) but it worked (for him at least).
He went from “I’m so scared I might catch the corona virus if I go back to school” to “I’m a little nervous but I’m also a little excited” and yes these were his literal words. I’m so proud of how fluent he is in English now my heart can’t even ♥️
I’m still terrified of how I’m going to say hi to the teachers and if my smile may seem fake because I’m not used to people anymore. On the inside I want to thank the teachers profusely and tell them what a good job they’ve done with the online teaching, but I’m probably going to get tongue-tied and all serious and they’ll probably think I don’t care and oh boy. I’m going down a rabbit hole 🕳 again.
So what do you think about in person learning during these times? Are you adapting well to online learning? How are your kids getting their education?
And yes maybe I’m a little worried about catching COVID-19 but I’m sure if anyone starts catching the virus, they’ll stop in person learning immediately.
But judging by this 9 month isolation I’ve been in, my mental health is deteriorating and I’m willing to risk sending my son to school for a few hours so I don’t end up in a mental institution. Besides, if they weren’t taking all these precautions, I wouldn’t feel reassured to send him, but I am.