Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Back to School as Terra Incognita

BACK to School 2020 - Home | Facebook

Our two school age grandlads are fun-loving, well-adjusted souls and we love spending time with them. They are with us now for a sleepover because tomorrow school resumes. After months at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic they are at the same time ready to roll and a little unsettled, as so many of us are. They will take a bus with assigned seating and must wear masks. At school masks are optional and at this point class sizes are unclear. They attend an excellent French school with a principal and teachers doing their best to communicate expectations but protocols seems to change, day by day. 

This is the reality for so many this week. Students, teachers, support staff, parents and grandparents, all wonder where this will go because this is terra incognita --uncharted territory. My brother is in his early sixties but it is back to school for him as well, as a bus driver. After delighting in the "bubble" with our grandsons over the summer we will be back to physical distancing for the next few weeks as we wait and see, and we're not looking forward to this at all. 

No masks for kids as Coquitlam district schools reopen June 1 in Phase 2  plan | Tri-City News

As always when we are in the midst of uncertainty and even fear we can pray, seeking the calm that God will bring to our apprehensive spirits. The moderator of the United Church, Richard Bott, is a parent and he has offered a thoughtful and heart-felt prayer which is both personal and applies to us all as we enter the unknown. Here it is:

Hi, God...
it's not too long before my daughter heads back to school,
alongside of other children, teens, and young adults,
in so many communities.

And, to be honest, I'm worried.

Not just for her,
but for every single student —
from the youngest to the eldest;
and for every single teacher,
and support person,
every one of the support staff,
and the administrators —
the people we trust to not only help our children learn,
but learn in an environment where they are
cared about,
and respected;
where their whole person is taken into account,
as they live and learn and grow!

But... I'm worried.

I'm worried about their health,
in the face of COVID-19.
I'm worried about the resources we've set aside,
not just to ensure their learning,
but their learning in safety.

And it's not just the ones who will participate in learning
at the school building —
I'm worried about the ones who will be learning from home,
the ones who will be sitting in front of their screens,
connecting with the lessons, the teachers,
and their peers there.

And I'm worried about the students
who won't have what they need —
technologically, or people-wise —
to experience the schooling we understand
they need.

So, I'm praying.

I'm praying that our decision-makers:
listen to the science,
make sure the resources are there,
do all they can to help the children
who will be in schoolrooms and at home;
I'm praying
for the health of our children,
and all those who support them;
I'm praying
that we all work together,
in equity and in hope,
to ensure that every student has what they need,
to be the learner that they are.

And I continue to pray for all of our health-care workers,
and those researching therapies and vaccines,
that we might be able to respond to COVID-19,
and have the health to work on
the rest of what needs to be done.
Help me to trust that we are doing
all that we can
for all of our children.

Help me to trust that we will do even more
than we think we are able,
for every child,

In Christ's name, I pray.



Judy said...

Amen to that prayer ! I am grateful that my granddaughter has decided to keep her 4 yr old daughter at home for now, instead of putting her in a JK class - with her heart issues, I was worried! May God keep us all sensible and "...grant us wisdom and courage for the living of these days"!

David Mundy said...

Lots of tough decisions for parents and educators because the return to school is multi-faceted. Heath issues, living with vulnerable seniors, divorced parents with different outlooks. Thanks Judy.