By TMoM team member Kelly Hines

Dear Principals Everywhere,

First of all, let me say THANK YOU. For real, my gosh. This whole e-learning thing has really thrown a monkey wrench in everything, and I really appreciate all the teachers and staff have done to try to keep us on track. Even though maybe you should be paying me for teaching my kids at home, am I right? Ha ha. Honestly though, I’ve never appreciated teachers quite the way I do now, and I ––

Sorry about that, Zoom froze up and my second grader was trying to flush his Chromebook down the toilet. Yes, I am aware that I signed an agreement to protect and defend The Precious Chromebook from all threats internal and external. Don’t worry, nothing happened that a giant baggie full of rice won’t fix! Also, I want to thank you for the opportunity to go through second grade again! Things sure have changed, and I wasn’t aware of how dumb I was until I started trying to explain two-digit math. If only I’d had alternative strategies and grouping skills when I was in second grade, maybe I wouldn’t struggle so much when it comes time to add the tip on my bill at the Olive Garden. As my child often reminds me, I don’t do it like Mrs. Stevenson taught them to do it! I try to sit in the back of the Zoom class and peek over his shoulder, just to make sure I understand it. Of course, I can only do that if I’m not in seventh grade ELA Zoom, or explaining TPS reports to my boss, or telling my husband to get his own damned tuna sandwich I AM WORKING, TOO. By the way, do you know how many devices in one house you can successfully have logged on to Zoom at the same time? On Mondays, the number is zero. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it’s two – but only if you’re in the same room and you say the Zoom Prayer three times and hold your mouth just right. On Thursdays, everything is just fine. Until it’s not. I’ll be honest, we’ve turned Flex Fridays into Feral Fridays, where I give my kids a box of Cheerios and start drinking at noon. May the odds be ever in their favor.

Speaking of Mrs. Stevenson – that woman is heaven sent. I only see her cry once, maybe twice, a week. She has the cutest little baby at home and the kids in class are learning all about things like childcare, gender inequality, and the wage gap. One time, that little baby threw up all over Mrs. Stevenson in the middle of a lesson. Oh, how we laughed at that! Mrs. Stevenson was laughing, too, but then she started crying and saying things like “I don’t get paid enough for this,” and things got awkward, quick. Don’t you worry, I have a very nice coffee mug picked out for her for Christmas. #supportourteachers

I just saw on the news where the governor said K-5 kids can go back to school in October! I have to be honest, I’m a little nervous about that. I mean, I’m not really scared of the ‘rona. I’m a little worried that one of my little snot rockets might bring it home to MeeMaw and PapPap, but we will just have to keep our distance from them awhile longer. I don’t know how much longer my boss is going to let me work from home while I help with e-learning, and we need my paycheck. I’m only sleeping about three hours a night anyway, between ‘rona dreams and working overtime, and worrying if I have seasonal allergies or a potentially life-threatening disease. I’m pretty confused most days, and one time I even turned in a TPS report to Mrs. Stevenson and a report on Ferdinand Magellan to my boss. In my defense, it was Flex Friday. Whatever y’all decide to do, you can count on everyone complaining about it. Good luck with that!

Well, I’ve been avoiding it, but here is the real reason for my letter – I want to apologize for the incident on Tuesday. You see, we were having some connectivity issues and for whatever reason, the signal is best in our bathroom. So my husband was not aware that Mrs. Stevenson was teaching a new math concept in the bathroom, while he was in the shower. Yes, it is especially unfortunate that she was illustrating the lesson with acorns. Yes, it is also unfortunate that she exclaimed, “I love nuts!” at the exact moment my naked husband crossed the screen. I also want to apologize for the string of expletives my husband yelled when he realized his personal acorns were on display. Too bad they weren’t in language arts when that happened, ha ha. For some reason, my husband wants you to know that it’s “really, really quite cold in our bathroom” and it’s a “shock to the system, if you know what I mean.” I don’t know what he means, but I sure hope you do!

Thanks again for all the good work you’re doing, Principal. We’re all just out here doing our best. Next time you see Mrs. Stevenson, give her a little encouragement. Not like a raise or anything, just a solid thumbs up or maybe a coffee mug. Teachers love those.


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