Hello! This is a shout out to St. Paul Public Schools and their amazing teachers. As you know, last week they were on strike, fighting for better mental health care for their students and more bilingual teachers in the classrooms. Thankfully, the strike ended, in the teachers favor, but then school was cancelled due to Covid 19. Yesterday, I went to Bridge View School to pick up Boo’s iPad and school supplies. I was greeted at the door by a cheerful assembly line of staff who had me sign out Boo’s belongings with a minimum of contact. They asked if I needed anything, from diapers, to wipes, to formula, to lunches. I assured them that we were fine and went on my merry way. An hour later I got a text from teacher Sonia that she had forgotten to include Boo’s communication notebook. I went back down to the school, this time bearing a six pack of Ensure in case any family had need of it. I picked up the notebook and was again quizzed if I needed anything. Again, I told them we were fine and handed off the Ensure. A staff person happily took it and said she would pass it on to the nurse who could give it to the right family. She was so happy to see it I wished that I had more to give. Both interactions with the school yesterday morning moved me to grateful tears. Teachers are so under paid and over worked, yet their goodness shines through every time.
I took the supplies home to Boo and his eyes opened wide. He was delighted to have all his supplies. I spent at least an hour homeschooling him that afternoon, and when Alissa came over, he happily spent another hour working with us. This quickly showed us that my son is a smart cookie. He may be non verbal but he knows the days of the week, the months of the year, and can count at least up to 31. He can read simple sentences and folow one to two step directions. I was amazed by the treasure trove of teaching apps on his iPad. They could keep us busy for weeks! His teacher also sent home paper and pencil activities as well, plus a very good social story about Covid 19. I was very amused by Mr. Boo. Now he has 2 iPads. Usually I just let him use one while the other is recharging. If he can get both of them at the same time, he likes to have them “talk” to each other. It is quite funny, especially coming from a “non verbal” kid. I think I will have fun homeschooling him. I am still a teacher at heart, so I am more than happy to have Mr. Boo, Mouse, and a couple of her friends all working at my dining room table. The only reason I allow even this small gathering is that these kids are together all day every day when school is in session. I figure there is very little risk of anyone infecting someone else, as we are virtually locked in from the rest of the world.
To the rest of the outside world. I wish only good things to come to your doorstep. Help you fellow man. Don’t horde all the toilet paper. Enjoy sunrises and sunsets. Virtually hug your friends and loved ones. And, if you happen to see a public school teacher, give them your undying thanks.