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School in the Time of COVID: A Mom’s Choice

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School in the Time of COVID: A Mom’s Choice

When I came to Our Tupelo with the idea to write about sending my children back to school during coronavirus, I thought it would be an easy subject to write about, I was wrong. I’ve written and rewritten this article multiple times.  The truth is, I’m not sure what to say. 

I thought I would write about why my husband and I decided to send our children back to traditional school in the midst of a pandemic. But once I started writing, I realized it didn’t take all that much to explain our decision. Our children are healthy with great immune systems but my son is also a high functioning autistic person with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. In his case, he needs to be at school receiving face-to-face instruction and therapy services. Social interaction with other children his age is also one of the best ways for him to learn typical people’s behaviors. My daughter, who started kindergarten this year, was also bored out of her mind and begged to go back to school after her only year of pre-k was cut short by COVID. 

Though our circumstances made our decision somewhat obvious, it certainly wasn’t an easy one to make. There’s still the pandemic to consider. Everyone in our household is relatively healthy but this virus has proven unpredictable and we understand the risks. Coronavirus has personally affected us just like it has many other families. My husband’s grandmother recently battled the virus and I just said the last goodbye to my aunt who passed away from the disease only days before school started. 

I’ve found this piece difficult to write because I realized my story isn’t all that different from the next parent and I’ve struggled with figuring out what this article can offer to the reader. I’m not the only parent making hard decisions about their children’s education this year. I’m not the only one feeling certain they’ve made the right choice one minute and fighting waves of guilt the next minute for not being able to quit work and begin homeschool. I’m definitely not the only parent worried that our healthy children could become deathly ill or pass on the illness to a family member with a compromised immune system. What makes my story any different from yours?

Maybe that’s what I have to offer with this column. A parent sharing the same worries and woes that you’re facing. A reminder that we are still all in this together, for better or worse. 

Every couple of weeks, I’ll check in with a new article about how the school year is going from one mom’s perspective. I would also like to share your story in this column. Share how your kids’ school year is going and I may reach out to you for an interview to be featured here. 

Telina Knight Johnson
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Telina Knight Johnson is a local writer and North Mississippi native. Originally hailing from Amory, Telina now lives in Tupelo with her husband, a furniture builder and chef, and their two children. A professional writer since 2013, Telina has a background in journalism and has worked as a senior copywriter/content manager for local digital marketing agency Momentum Consulting since 2017. She has also written for local publications including the Baldwyn News and for a number of online blogs and news websites. Telina enjoys writing in a variety of niches, but she most enjoys writing stories others can relate to, like her tales of life as the mom of a kid on the autism spectrum. When she's not writing, taste-testing her husband's latest dish, or doing Mom things with her kids, you'll find Telina at a music show or the movie theater, perusing through bookstores, or, most likely, curled up on her couch next to her cat with a good book in hand. For more of her writings, follow her on Facebook or Instagram @lena_intheskywithdiamonds, or check out her work blogs on all things marketing at advertisingmomentum.com

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