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by Jenn Drake, Early Elementary Classroom Teacher

We’re back and school has never looked like this before! We are social distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands like crazy. There are so many changes in place to keep the community safe. While they say change is good, for me, it’s a lot to take in. I have more to remember and less time for getting it all done. But that’s me. The big surprise has been how fast the children have adapted to this situation. It’s impressive and inspiring. Wear a mask all day? Okay! Stay in your spot? Sure! Give an across-the-room-high-five to show someone you care? No problem! It’s truly amazing.

I’ve always known that children are adaptable, though some more than others. When we plan for big things, like a move across the country, we worry about our kids. Will they be okay? Will they make new friends? Will they get used to their new school? Will they miss grandma too much? Of course we worry. That’s our job as parents. But, usually within the first hour or so, they’ve met someone in their neighborhood and they’re begging for a playdate this weekend. How do they do that?

Usually, it’s little things that they adapt to. Maybe it’s that they are used to one brand of apple juice and you get the “wrong” kind and they have a little fit for a minute. Then they just drink the apple juice. As parents and teachers, we need to make sure that we’re giving kids an opportunity to adapt to new situations. That’s why we take them to noisy football games and up-close to the fish in the tank in the restaurant and even why we purposely run out of things every week. It’s good practice!

But, this is different. We didn’t plan for Covid-19. Most of us didn’t even know it was a possibility. And all of a sudden, our lives are turned upside down. All of our usual routines are gone. Even the ways we shop for groceries have changed. And for us grown-ups, that can be hard. But for our children, after a few days and a few questions, they are just going with the flow. It’s a great reminder to us all that we can do this! We can really do anything. All we need to do is adapt the adaptable mindset of our kids!