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Sarah Stultz: Thanks for support in distance learning

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Well, here we are. We made it to the end of the school year after two months of distance learning.

It seems so long ago when I think back to that week in March when we first heard students would not be transitioning back to school from spring break and that instead we would begin a journey of completing the school year online.

It was a scary time for many as we did not know what to expect. Many of our students who thrive on routine would be upended. Teachers, who thrive on their interactions with students in the classroom, were forced to begin a new way of teaching, and parents, who rely on teachers and others primarily for their child’s educational journey, were thrown into the mix more than usual to become part-time teachers and to essentially open a home school for the first time in our lives.

Distance learning has not been easy for all involved, but we have made it, and we’ve learned a lot along the way. Here are a few things I have learned:

• We have phenomenal teachers, support staff and administrators at our schools. Whether it was through social media, emails or text messages, we appreciated the regular followup to see how our children and we, as parents, were doing.

We could tell they care about their students, and that was heartwarming.

• Learning can be fun. We were reminded of this time and time again with the assignments and videos the school staff recorded and shared. Though there were a few hiccups at the beginning, as time went by, everything went smoothly. I appreciated the effort teachers put into making things as fun as they could.

• School is much more than just academics. There’s socialization and meeting new friends, where the children learn simple concepts such as sharing and taking turns.

Speaking for my family, the socialization and interaction were probably the things my son missed the most.

• It takes a village to raise a child.

This has always been true, but I’ve realized it now more than ever. Whether it was everyone at the school or my son’s day care provider three days a week, I have appreciated how willing all have been to help us on this journey.

• This is only for a season.

Whether distance learning continues in some degree in the summer or fall, one thing that kept me going is knowing that at some point — fingers crossed — students will return back to the school building.

Though things may not ever be the same when they do so, it’s hopeful knowing that this is only for a season.

Thanks to everyone who worked so diligently to make this season go as smoothly as it possibly could. 

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

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