Unbelievable but true! Our summer holiday 2020 is officially over as kids are back to school today.
Usually for me the last week of summer would be the busiest – washing the school backpacks or buying new ones, organising stationery, buying new uniform, shoes and socks included. Finally on D-day getting kids ready, packing their lunchboxes and finally setting them off to school. A much-needed coffee morning with other mums would follow on the same day, as we would sit and chat about our holiday – the exotic destinations visited or the family we met back home and finally with the kids back in school, the secret pleasure of getting back our “ME-Time!”
Academic year 2020-21 seems to have started on a very strange and different note. With none of the above feelings or activities, it’s not just me but also my boys who are questioning the reality – “I can’t believe that school has already started….it just doesn’t feel like it.”
When I started writing this post, I did a Google search for images related to “Back to school” – I found countless images of kids running together, school bell ringing, teacher welcoming the class, blackboards, school buses, school lunch room, backpacks, kids playing sports and other similar images – which goes on to show that there’s more to school than mere learning in a classroom.
With covid-19 and all the current scare and the need for safety, we have tried our best to replicate one aspect of schooling – which is probably classroom learning – even if it gives maybe 60% of the real feel, but what about the other bits that actually make up “SCHOOL?” The camaraderie, the friendship, the lunches, the social time, the teachers’ staff room banter, the janitors working in the cafeteria, the noise, the chatter, the chaos….are we ever going to be able to replicate that in the online world?
In Hong Kong schools started online learning since February 2020, so I can’t say that kids are not used to this system, but somehow this time round it just feels more exhausting, more difficult and just more unbelievable that we are still “stuck” here.
Do we have an option? Probably not. But what we do have is a CHOICE that we can make. A mindset choice. Either we sit and stay in this confused state of mind, crying and complaining or we pull up our socks -one more time, stand up tall and take it in our stride. Talk to your kids, talk to other mums, talk to your school, sometimes it just helps to know that you are not alone. I know it’s tough to stay motivated all the times, so here are some helpful hints and tips that you could refer to to keep you going. Who knows in a few months my Google search for ‘Back to school’ will show up images of zoom learning, online etiquette, kids with headphones, virtual playgrounds, wifi connectivity, webinars and so on!
Changing with the times is not easy, but changing with the times is a necessary means to survival ~ Mehroo Turel