Dear Kindergartener, It’s NOT Supposed to Be Like This

Dear Kindergartener, 

It’s NOT supposed to be like this. You’re entering into the very FIRST year of elementary school. The year is 2020, and the world is in the middle of a global pandemic. CoronaVirus cases continue to rise in the United States, and we’re not really sure how this school year is going to go. 

I just enrolled you today and checked the box for “in-person learning.” The other option was “virtual learning.” Unfortunately, that cannot be an option for us unless the state mandates another shutdown. As you know, Dad and I both work outside of the home. However, if we find ourselves in another shutdown, I promise I will do the best I can to teach you everything you need to know!

Picture by: Becca Blackburn Photography

There are so many questions that I have about the safety of the classrooms in public schools.

As a public school teacher myself, I’ve really not even been given any information about what to expect except for the fact that masks will be mandatory, and they will provide classroom cleaning supplies. 

With that being said, I want to take a moment to tell you all the dreams I have for you for this year. This year is a year full of firsts. You are going to grow SO much socially, emotionally, physically, and academically. You will learn sight words and some basic math problems. You will learn how to work in a cooperative group, but also how to be an independent learner. 

You will likely not even be phased by this year because despite what adults may think, you are resilient. Although you will have to wear a mask during the day and have limited time with other classes, you will also know no different. You will develop new friendships, get to know your wonderfully brave kindergarten teacher, and probably even have homework to work on! 

Thank God for some homework to get you off screen time

As your momma, I want you to know that you are special. This year is a year unlike any other in history. We are learning how to navigate new normal ways of life, and I have to say you are doing an amazing job so far. At times, I hear you say that you “hate the coronavirus,” and that breaks my heart more than you could imagine. However, I am confident that you will be a great listener, learn to follow the rules that will keep you safe, and learn to handle anything else that might come your way in your lifetime. 

I want to teach you how to deal with life when things get hard. Because let’s be honest — life is hard sometimes! Whether you’re dealing with a pandemic, something that feels unfair, something that hurts your feelings, or something that just plain sucks… I hope you can grow exponentially from this, and learn how to cope when life throws you curveballs. 

Not going to lie, I’m also a bit sad because this school year won’t look normal to anyone. Kindergarteners are supposed to go on field trips, learn from other grade level buddies, wave at the big kids in the hallway, and learn SO much through play. I wonder what that will look like for you. I wonder if the virus will spread or if kids will largely be unaffected. I wonder about all the teachers who put their heart and soul into their classrooms each day. I will continue to pray for their safety, their sanity, and their hearts as they willingly jump right into this school year with you. 

Although the current situation isn’t the most ideal, something tells me you and your fellow kindergarteners are going to ROCK this year. And maybe even teach the adults in this world a thing or two.

Masks, extra hand washing, and extra cleaning aren’t going to slow you down. I can promise you that! I can’t wait to document the little things that happen this year and how you will grow and learn. I’m already praying for your teacher — whoever that may be. 

So, we will roll with the punches. We will be flexible. We will support our teachers, knowing they may be just as scared of the first day of school as we might be. I promise to hold your hand for as long as they’ll let me. But please know this — no matter what — we’re in this together, and I promise we will make it through! 

Love, Mom

 

Kelly Burnison
Kelly is a wife, teacher, and mom of three. She has a very active 5 year old son, Banks, and 3 year old twin girls, Kate and Hayden. Originally a Wichita, KS native, she moved to Kansas City in 2010. After marrying her husband, Shaun, in 2013, they wasted no time starting a family. Having three kids in 2 years takes quite the amount of patience and task mastering. In between picking up toys, chasing monsters, playing in the dirt, potty training, singing songs and fixing meals that her kids don't eat, she loves exercising, coffee dates, wine, and binge watching the latest TV drama series. The busy-ness of life is what keeps her going, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. When life calms down and a date night ensues, Kelly and Shaun enjoy trying new restaurants in the KC area! 

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