Lockdown Day 87 – Parent Post
The last three weeks have presented us all with many challenge points. The country’s move from level 4 to level 3, the partial opening of the economy and schools, the non-opening and uncertainty around the early childhood sector, amidst an ever-rising number of infections have left most of us (as adults) feeling lost, insecure and vulnerable.
Access to a plethora of social media and news bulletins (who knows what is real and what is fake these days) does less to ease the insecurity than it does to fuel its fires. One can be forgiven for thinking that the world and its people are completely broken.
If this is how we feel as adults, imagine what this must be like for the children.
Children rely on us, the adults in their environments, to create a safe and secure base from which they can start to explore the world that they live in with increasing levels of confidence, ultimately leading to their independence.
What happens when the very adults that they look to for security and consistency are not able to provide this due to current circumstances and mostly non-positive mindsets?
The world was already a ‘big and scary place’ when they had structure and security; when adults knew what to do. Now, it is possibly even bigger and scarier, and the adults, who held the keys to their safety, structure and independence are now looking for safety, structure and independence of their own.
Some of the children went back to school in the last fortnight. A very different school to the one that they left in March.
A school with teachers who are themselves insecure and concerned not only about themselves, their health, the impact on their families, and their ability to abide by health and safety regulations, but mostly about the children whose health and safety and overall development they are now also responsible for.
A school that requires teachers and children to wear masks and/or face shields that prohibit our ability to socially reference by looking to each other’s faces to gauge emotion, intention, appropriate behaviour.
A school that regulates where the children can sit and what the children can touch.
A school that previously taught children the values of sharing that now prohibits this very trait.
A school that is no longer the place of their memories.
We have touched base with many of the Montessori teachers who have been able to go back to school this month. The struggle has been real. The challenges have been real. Bt more than anything – the rewards have been real.
The over-riding comment that we have had from these teachers is that despite all the fear and unknowns, the children have for the most part transitioned to their new school environments very well.
They have easily adapted to the different ‘look and feel’ of the school, their teachers and their friends. They have understood the need to work in their own space (for now) so that they can keep each other safe and healthy. They have adopted sanitisation of any material that they have worked with as part of the work cycle. They have learned to play with their friends across a physical divide and still be able to have fun. They have become adept at sharing their morning with the children physically in their classroom and with those who are ‘zoomed’ or ‘teamed’ in on a digital platform.
They have adapted.
They are resilient.
And – possibly thanks to the fact that most of them are still too young – they have been spared the relentless onslaught of social media and news channels. Amidst all the turmoil and uncertainty, children have managed to find security, joy and contentment in their changed schools.
There are many lessons that we, the adults, can take from our children.
Wishing you all a blessed Sunday and a very happy Fathers Day.
Find all of our lockdown tips here – https://montessorisa.co.za/blog/