Submitted by: Jennifer McGee, Principal of Atwood Primary School
Well. When the school year began, back in August of 2019, I never could have predicted the way it would end. I’m not usually speechless when I write these pens, but this year, my 35th year in education, has left me searching for words.
First and foremost, it must be said. THANK YOU. We turned the wheel over to you, unexpectedly, without forewarning. We handed you the lesson plans and the materials, and you became the teachers. I had a conversation with one of my colleagues, and I said, “I feel like we are all in a boat, and we keep saying, “row, row, row…” out there to our families, and you all were the ones with the oars. Thank you for partnering with us to keep our boats moving forward. It was a lot. We realize…a LOT.
You may be saying, “I wasn’t able to do it.” Here’s the official answer. That’s okay. That is just fine. Not everyone could. We all (and when I say we, I mean WE) were in different places this spring: some employed, some unemployed, some working from home, some with multiple children, some with internet, some without internet, some with devices, some without devices, some sharing devices, some children had childcare, some children had no childcare, some children had brothers and sisters providing childcare….no two people had the same circumstances, and we understand that…it’s fine.
So, that leads me to my next point. Your children received a very different educational experience in the third trimester of this school year. Teachers know this. In the fall, wherever your child is in their learning, it’s fine. They will be welcomed into their new grade with open arms, and all of the teachers understand…it will look different in the fall of 2020! It’s okay. We will be prepared and ready to teach your child…exactly as we always are…with the understanding that we will be beginning the school year, likely teaching some skills that would have been taught in the previous grade level. We will be ready! Please hear this above all else: YOUR CHILD(REN) WILL BE FINE.
I am sure, like all of us, the upcoming school year is on your mind. We all have many questions, but rest assured, as we receive answers, we will reach out to you. Of course, our dearest hope is that we will open our classroom doors, and have school as we know it. We have our fingers crossed. We are preparing for the school year, so we are ready to go…in whatever direction we are steered!
Sadly, we had to let go of some of our favorite primary school traditions and collective experiences this spring. We missed out on many of the rites of passages of Atwood Primary School; however, it can be said, we will ALWAYS remember the spring of 2020 and that we were in it, together, apart.
We have missed you.
Jen McGee, Principal of Atwood Primary School