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Sarah Stultz: Anybody else ready for school to start up?

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

This winter break has been a long one. With school being on distance learning before the break and then the break being extended to allow teachers extra time to prepare to go back to in-person learning, it seems like it has been a long time since my son was in the classroom.

I thought distance learning went about as well as it could have for my energetic son — his teacher and paras had multiple check-ins online each day through Google Meets and there were regular online visits with his speech and occupational therapists as well. While he looked forward to talking to his teachers and classmates each school day and he continued learning, there’s nothing quite like being in the classroom.

I was thrilled when it was announced that students who had chosen in-person learning could return to their schools on Monday.

My son, Landon, still doesn’t understand what is happening with the pandemic. He doesn’t understand why his routine keeps changing, why he has been talking to his teachers and classmates through an iPad instead of seeing them in-person at the school, and he still doesn’t understand why we have to wear masks when we’re out in public places — but he is getting better at it!

Though he has adjusted to the distance learning format, there’s still no question that he prefers school in-person.

Every day for the last two weeks, he has asked about going back to school, and every day I have had to tell him he will be going back in a few weeks. This week, I can shift to how many days it will be until he can return.

To say he can’t wait is an understatement. He has thrived in the in-person school setting, and I can’t wait to see him continue to grow — academically, socially and emotionally.

As we gear up for this second half of the school year and many students return to the in-person format on Monday, I hope we all can remember still to practice patience.

Our teachers have all been working diligently to shift their learning models already multiple times since the start of the pandemic, and as much as we all want things to return back to the way things were before March of 2020, things will still be different.

Let’s all do our best to protect ourselves and others in whatever way we can so our students can stay in school for the remainder of the year.

We owe it to ourselves, but more importantly, we owe it to them.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.