I can’t believe it's November already — time for the first round of parent-teacher conferences for Kindergarten.
It brought me back to memories of last year’s conference. Pre-k 4 was so different. It was a true inclusion class run by a special education teacher and the classroom provided a lot of support and individual interventions for all of the students which set the bar of expectations high for me as a parent.
Last year’s meeting started when her teacher told me how much she loved Ally’s quirky personality. That Ally was funny, sweet, and special.
She told me all of the good things about my daughter and praised her perceived abilities to be high. As she began to discuss her areas of weaknesses, like her fine motor skills, she also mentioned that their occupational therapist provided strategies and support. …
This morning my six-year-old daughter cried because she didn’t get a turn to show her reindeer picture to her class on Zoom. At first, I thought she would get over it in a few minutes and so I let her cry.
Ten minutes later she was still crying. Sobbing, snotty tears.
Clenched angry fists.
I wrote a message to her teacher in the chat asking if she could have a turn because she was so upset. That her being upset seems pretty justified to me. She said no because she doesn’t always give them all a turn to share and that at school, she would apologize for not giving her a turn and move on. And I get that. …
As COVID-19 numbers continue to surge again and school districts around us slowly transition back to fully remote learning, I can only wonder when it will happen here too.
My youngest is back in school five days on a shortened schedule for about a month now and her brother is in a hybrid cohort, and for whatever reason, despite it not being “back to normal,” things are finally working and I finally feel a sense of harmony in my work -remote learning-life balance.
But is it too good to be true?
Remote learning went something like this:
Check work e-mail, mid-response an alarm goes off to remind me to log my daughter into Zoom. Look for the link while she reminds me that we didn’t watch the good morning message yet or do the pledge of allegiance. …
When I packed my laptop and left my office on Friday, March 13, 2020, for a fourteen-day quarantine, I never imagined I would still be home in October, frozen in time. For nearly seven months, I have been juggling working from home, remote learning, managing IEPs, telehealth sessions, my own online graduate courses, and the eternal abyss of laundry made by two kids who don’t go anywhere — all whilst waiting to fall apart while my husband is at work every day.
COVID-19 has been another reminder to the special needs moms out there that we need to be careful, and we need to take care of ourselves because we can’t leave our children behind. But at what point are we trading our mental health for this perceived safety we think we feel at home? …
A big part of opening schools for in-person learning asks us to trust everyone around us — that they are doing the right thing in their free time as far as protecting themselves and the people they are exposed to from contracting COVID-19.
But, when people are crowding beaches, having house parties, and getting together in groups, I wonder how this would impact my family, one that has followed the rules, practiced social distancing, and continues to take caution in our limited interactions with people outside of our home. …
As we head into the uncertainties ahead regarding public education in the United States, there are arguments taking place all over the media this month — should students return to in-person instruction in September, amid a pandemic? Should they do remote learning? Hybrid learning? Should they withdraw their children from school altogether and dive into true home instruction?
Running parallel is the looming childcare crisis that has parents wondering, how is it safe for children to attend daycares, camps, and youth programming for 8–9 hours per day but can’t attend their education full-time or at all? Or is this all some economical pissing contest for the coming November elections? …
Restaurants, retail, and salons are opening. Daycares, summer camps, and local youth sports are also starting.
But not essential programs for children like mine — no extended school year, no social skills groups, or ABA therapy in a center. Thus, no reprieve for special needs parents lucky enough to work from home through a pandemic.
I don’t feel lucky at all. I feel overwhelmed and busier than I have ever been in my entire life as I struggle to take on the jobs of remote working, remote learning, remote therapies, and then all of the other things like maintaining a home, preparing meals, with no time left to manage my own self-care or mental health. The kids are fighting, crying, and angry that they can’t go anywhere or socialize. …
Sometime around mid-February, I began to worry about my daughter’s kindergarten graduation.
Would she run out of the room because our last name starts with a W and waiting in line is too much for her?
I imagined her crying, yelling, and storming off the stage.
Would she become the center of negative attention and ruin the ceremony?
How many more enemies would I make that day with parents who don’t get it? Parents who only see a beautiful little girl being bad.
I worried about how to not attend. How do we get out of this?
Should I save a sick day and call out? Should we stay home or take her somewhere special and hope she doesn’t realize that we missed it? …
This morning I hit the snooze button and fell back asleep for fifteen minutes before I took a shower. Then I spent half an hour in the bathroom where I took my time and put on more makeup than usual, dried my hair, and even curled it. As I stood in my closet contemplating which shirt to wear, I checked my phone for the weather but found myself navigating my Facebook feed for ten minutes before I got back on track. …
This month two six-year-old girls were arrested by police at their elementary schools across the nation. The first, Margot Gaines in Pennsylvania, and the most recent, Kaia Rolle in Florida, was arrested just last week.
Both girls had documented medical conditions that are known to impair behavior. But whether a child has a disability or not, there should (almost) never be a reason to arrest a Kindergartner or any elementary school-aged child for that matter. Kids today are struggling in an education system that is not designed for children.
It is 2020 and we are arresting little girls and locking kids in closets at school because we expect them to behave, and to be two academic years ahead of where we were as kids. …