No School Blues

If you would have asked me what would I have been doing as a school counselor on April 30th of any given year I would have told you "preparing for the end of the school year" This would include teacher appreciations, awards days, parties, moving on ceremonies and the like. This time of year is fun, exciting and even a little sad as we say goodbye to our little ones for the summer. Unfortunately, this is not an ordinary year. This is the year of COVID-19, the year that school was ripped away like an old band aid without any warning. If you are not an educator, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that we are happy, at home in our pjs catching up on whatever shows on netflix in between the one or two times a day that we log into our laptops to give our student's an assignment or to post a quirky " Thinking of you" message to our parents. The reality is this is the farthest thing from the truth. WE MISS OUR STUDENTS and we worry about them.

You see we know which students need special encouragement to get their work done, and which ones are motivated by being a class helper. We sit our students in groups based on their academic needs and allow them to work together whenever possible in an effort to give them reinforcements all while teaching them communication and people skills, and that is just the beginning. Our students know that if they have a problem or is struggling to express their needs that I, the counselor, is right down the hall and if they are experiencing trouble at home that causes them to be afraid, or feel unsafe in any way the social worker is just one call away. I can't speak for every school but I know that my school works hard to create an environment where our students know that they are loved and not alone. They feel supported and pushed to be the best they can whether they want to or not.

But that was then, back then when the doors of the school were open. When we could hug them and support them face to face. So now what? Now we have the blues, the no school blues and it's not because we are no longer here for our students. It's the exact opposite, it's because we are still here! We are a phone call and a mouse click away. We want our students to contact us, to let us know what they need help with and to allow us to still be a part of their journey through this challenging time. We know how hard things have been for our families, that parents are trying to be the providers, caregivers, teachers and playmates all while trying to regain some sense of normalcy and structure. They are trying to be everything for their kids and that is an unfair expectation that they are putting on themselves and before they know it they have caught it too. Yup, the no school blues is contagious. It will spread to any and every family who allows themselves to believe the hype. The "Those educators don't care about y'all!" hype, the " You know they are just giving busy work"  hype and the " That school counselor will look at you crazy if you ask can she have a phone session with your child because they are stressed out and miss their friends" hype.

Millions of families have given the term social distance an additional meaning. They have allowed them to become isolated from those who care, including us your child's school family. Yes, I said Family. The good news is there is a cure for the no school blues and it's called communication! Allow us back into your child's everyday life. Let us continue to serve you while your child is trying to complete their assignments and prepare for their well deserved summer break. Just a simple call, email or instant message can be the very thing that your child needs to close this school year with a bang!

Signed,
Your Always Devoted School Counselor
Latoya Marie