Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church


Our Stories


Posted by Jodie Williamson on

I am a Preschool Director, former Kindergarten teacher, and mother. Deciding on virtual or in person learning during COVID-19 is an agonizing decision for any parent. Everyone’s family dynamic is not one size fits all. I have been disheartened when I see parent and teacher “shaming” on social media. We are in this together, after all, and we need to show compassion as we navigate through uncharted unchartered waters.

As a parent, I made the challenging decision for my children to learn virtually. Although I worry about their mental health, the risk of going back to in-school gathering is too high for my family.

As an educator, I returned to the classroom as a Director and Pre-K teacher. I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder and PTSD. I collaborated with my internist, therapist, and the owner of the preschool prior to making my decision. As a family, my husband and I developed a plan of action in case of exposure. I worked with the owner of the preschool to create a reopening plan that I was comfortable with. We are following CDC guidelines and we have strict policies and procedures in place to minimize the risk of exposure.

Every Sunday night, my anxiety is heightened. The thought of leaving my “safety” zone and returning to the workplace frightens me. I lie awake, waiting for the “dreaded” phone call from a parent or staff member that they have been exposed or are feeling ill. Once I return to the classroom, my anxiety gradually decreases. Hearing the children’s laughter and watching their excitement as they enter the classroom helps my worries disappear. For my mental health, I made a decision that works for me.

The partnership between parents, teachers, and administrators can have an impact on helping to minimize the risk of COVID-19 in the classroom. All parties should make the effort to be mindful of others.

When I returned to the classroom, I noticed an increase in anxiety among everyone – teachers, parents and students included. We need to acknowledge that this is a hard time for all and give each other grace.