Lifelet: A Gift of the Pandemic

Day 269 of Self Quarantine      Covid 19 Deaths in U.S.:  281,000   GA Vote!!

Three days a week two of our grand daughters show up for a day at Grandma Jamie’s remote online school.  I get to help with their schooling.  A few days ago, I was the substitute “teacher” for most of the day.

I get to watch a second grader and a kindergartner adapt to the new normal.  I get to experience amazing teachers coping with the move from in classroom teaching to Zoomeroo.

Most especially I get to observe the growth and development of two special young women.

Due to the nature of my professional work travelling >100,000 air miles for most of the last 40 years, I missed the formative years of our three children.  My wife got to experience the ups and downs and challenges of being a “single” parent while I focused on making a living.

The gift of the pandemic is glimpsing what I missed all those years ago.

The day starts with mom or dad dropping off the days selection of stuffies, backpacks, lunches and the girls.

They quickly move to their respective rooms to jump on morning Zoom.

Multi-tasking with an ever present array of art projects is the norm.

Grandma Jamie takes the teachers’ plans for that day and translates them into a schedule so we know when to monitor their independent work or when to get them on the appropriate Zoom.

It is a full time job to keep the day moving and making sure that the independent work gets done.  I usually do the snacks and lunch setup while being on call for any technical support issues.  There are always technical support issues.  And it takes a lot of food to fuel the energy it takes to concentrate on Zoom.

When the weather is nice, I get to supervise outdoor play time.  Pleasant weather Fridays are chalking our street time.

I love their creativity.  Zoe drew a tree.  She decided it needed to be planted in some dirt to help it grow.

Did I mention the teachers and subject matter specialists are amazing? Zoe’s teacher is a non-stop energizer bunny.  Alice’s teacher is encouraging in every interaction.  We are so lucky to be able to help out and live in a community with a strong commitment to education no matter what.

No matter how hard we try, we occasionally miss the start of a Zoom session while working on their independent tasks.  It is not just the face to face time on Zoom, it is all the prep that the teachers put into the daily independent activities they set up on SeeSaw.  The teachers also prepare a weekly bag of activity materials that the parents pick up at the school.

We are deeply grateful to all of those who are adjusting to the pandemic to support the needs of our children.  I am grateful that I get the chance to observe so many times a week the energetic, creative and adaptive points of views of our grand children.

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