Tracy Goldizen mug

Monday will be an interesting day.

I’m most interested to see just how exhausted the boys will be after the first day of school. I’ve been trying to get a more routine sleep schedule going for Colin with mixed success. With Logan, it’s been more of a gentle nudging. After all, it’s his senior year and he is in the part of life where he needs to take responsibility for himself.

That will also make Monday a melancholy day. I can’t believe senior year came so fast. I remember sitting in his first day of kindergarten with him, his mom and Jason and marveling how fast he was growing up.

Now, we’re exchanging texts about senior photos and graduation day. It doesn’t seem real.

I know a lot of people have concerns about the start of the school year, and I understand why. But for my article for today’s front page, I had the chance to speak with several teachers and even some administrators. They are genuinely excited to see the kids and are passionate about giving them the best experience they can have under such unpredictable circumstances. The teachers I met with this week genuinely care about the kids that are entrusted to them.

One of them shared a thought with me, at the end of the article, and I wholeheartedly agree. If there’s a glitch in the system, whether it be with mitigation protocols or something with the virtual side of the eductions — should it be needed or it’s what you opted for — be patient with the teachers and let them know what’s working and what’s not. That way they can address the concerns.

After all, teachers and administrators have no experience educating during COVID. They’re learning, too.

Monday will definitely be a needed return to socializing, education and structure for my students — and likely hundreds of others. It will take time for everybody to adjust to wearing masks all day, keeping distance in the hallways, lunch procedures, etc. Be patient and be kind. We’re all — parents, students, teachers, administrators and other staff — in this together.

Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.

Tracy Goldizen is the Courier's features and magazine editor, leading production of the award-winning "Ottumwa Life" and the Courier's other magazine offerings. She began work with the Courier on the copy desk.

Recommended for you