We live in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Our Covid numbers keep rising. We’re trying (well, some of us…looking at you, Rowan County), but they just do.
Schooling this Fall will be tough. It’s just going to be. For everyone, not just those in our county.
As parents, we have a few options.
A) We do virtual schooling. They’re proposing 5-6 HOURS OF INSTRUCTION PER DAY with this option. Supervised by…?
Right. My partner or myself. Who both still have full-time jobs. From home.
Even if we call in reinforcements, our regular sitter and some parental help, this is unimaginable.
B) On-Off option, where they’ll go to school for one week, and then are virtual for two weeks.
What fresh hell is this?! So, we’ll risk lives for one week, and then we’ll somehow magically put everything on hold for two weeks to monitor them at home for 5-6 HOURS PER DAY.
Did I mention that this is PER DAY?!
And look, it’s not the teacher’s faults, or the principal’s fault, either (we love our local school). It’s not even the school board’s fault…there are no good options here.
No. good options, Beloved.
Except this one, and I’m serious: everyone–students, parents, workers of all stripe–all get a gap year.
For workers? No performance reviews. You try giving your all in a pandemic, dammit! It’s not possible. And if you have kids at home? Let’s just say you are working about 40 minutes out of every bankable hour, if that.
That’s on a good day.
And workers without kids? Please, can we not pretend this is easy for anyone? And not just not easy, but seriously, mentally, emotionally, socially, and physically unhealthy?
None of what is going on right now is healthy.
For students? We do the best we can and fit as much as we can in two freaking hours a day. Seriously. Do the basics. Reinforce the bare minimum, especially for elementary students.
And High School? No SAT or ACT for college acceptance this year. Do your best, get in, and prove your worth. Then maybe we can phase our those terrible tests, anyway…
College Seniors regularly take a gap year between their graduation year and their first year of gradschool or workforce.
This year? We all get a gap year.
For everyone. Even after we get a vaccine…everyone gets some leeway.
This is not fair to students or teachers, and it doesn’t work for parents who are trying to keep their lives from crumbling while keeping everyone healthy.
And just a quick reminder: it didn’t have to be this way. Had we had competent, organized leadership from the top, this all could have been different. It may not have been perfect, but it wouldn’t be the life-threatening disaster this is today.
Vote in November.
**There seems to be some confusion on this, so I want to be clear:
-When it comes to the education of our children, I am not proposing we just take the year, or even the semester, off of school.
-I am suggesting that we suggest realistic solutions to learning in a pandemic that adjust educational metrics and standards to reflect the current time.
-Focus on necessary basics for the semester.
-Be clear about benchmarks, and make those the main thrust of education for the semester.
-Don’t over-schedule or try to over-compensate for lost instructional time.
-Be lenient with grade advancement, and dismiss standardized testing for the year.