Today was our first day of 3rd and 6th grade virtual learning. I waited until approximately last night to look over the supply lists and frantically order things from Amazon (I’m gonna hope we don’t need that scientific calculator until at least the 15th). We made sure that there were no undergarments in view of the webcams and declared ourselves READY! This morning, we retrieved our little blackboard from behind the kitchen desk (where it lives in the off season), scrawled the appropriate grade levels and snapped a few pics in the kids’ respective work spaces. Then I headed out to work, saying a prayer to the gods of VPN, Webex, Spectrum internet and basic electricity (one can never be too certain).
Danny texted me updates throughout the day and overall things seemed to have gone pretty well. At one point the icons on Luke’s iPad disappeared which delayed his arrival to music class….but nobody cried and nothing exploded, so we considered the day a success. I came home from work and showered (per usual), then came down stairs, anxious to hear from the kids how they felt the day went. They were unsurprisingly ambivalent and minimally forthcoming so we settled into our usual evening routine.
Then the phone rang.
The only time I get calls from a restricted number is when Louisa is trying to prank call me. So I answered my phone in a deep, serious voice and said “This is Dr. Bartlett…“
“Um…oh…I’m sorry, I’m trying to get a hold of Luke’s mom…?”
“Oh my goodness! I’m so sorry…I thought my daughter was pranking me. This is Luke’s mom.”
“Great! Hi. This is Ms. R. I’m Luke’s teacher this year.”
(At this point, I’m thinking, “Wow! How great to get a phone call to touch base after the first day!”)
Then she said, with a concerned voice, “Did he tell you about what happened today?”
“Well…we were in the middle of class and someone came into his learning space and threw a blanket over his head and wouldn’t let go. And there was a younger child in the background laughing hysterically.”
“He told me it was his older sister and I was wondering why she wasn’t in her class at the time.”
“He seems like a really good kid and it’s clear that he is taking this very seriously. We just need to make sure that we keep interruptions to a minimum.”
“I’m so sorry! You’re right. Luke is our very serious, rule-follower, and his sister…well…I’ll have a talk with her right now.”
And then I said all of the things one would say while desperately trying to assure a perfect stranger that we are normal people with normal kids who don’t assault each other on a regular basis.
[And literally…as I am typing this…one child shot the other in the face with a nerf gun. Literally. There are many tears.]
So we’ve learned some important lessons today. Granted, on-camera assault was the last thing I thought I would need to address tonight. At least the internet worked. Thanks, God.
How was your day?