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The Best of Times and the Worst of Times

When Charles Dickens wrote the first line to “A Tale of Two Cities,” he was referring to life during the French Revolution and not to the global pandemic that Cayman and the rest of the world are currently experiencing. However, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” is a quote that may resonate with all of us during this lockdown period.

‘The best of times’ because we are being forced to experience a slower pace of life where we are now spending more quality time with our families. Without the pressure of daily routines, there are maybe fewer frenetic starts to the mornings and fewer battles to get children dressed, fed and ready for school by a certain time, ever mindful of the need to ‘beat the traffic.’ We don’t have to worry about packed lunches and are perhaps spending more time eating together as a family, enjoying more home-cooked meals. Perhaps we have more time to really get to know our children: the way they learn or the way they play. In return, our relationship with them may be the best we’ve ever known, and our children may be thriving as they relish the opportunity to spend more time with us.

‘The worst of times’ as many of us are having to balance work, homeschooling and family life all at the same time. We may be experiencing financial pressure and job worries, particularly as the lockdown continues. We may be having to tag team child-care and homeschooling with our spouses, having to work into the evenings and weekends. There is no ‘me’ time and as for self-care… hah! Perhaps our previous rules on screen time are having to be relaxed and this is something that we are struggling with. As we enter Week Seven of lockdown, our children may be showing less motivation to work and we worry about the level of social interaction that they are used to and that is lacking at the moment. All of it may just be too overwhelming.

As your child’s teachers, we have been truly amazed by the enthusiasm and dedication that all parents have shown as the primary guides of learning at home. As every classroom teacher experiences, some days go really well and the child is receptive, eager and completes their work in the work cycle; other days, not much is accomplished at all. This is entirely normal.

We have also been inspired by and impressed with how all of LEU students have embraced this huge change to their lives, and their resilience in the face of adversity is admirable. The Montessori philosophy perhaps lends itself well to remote learning, as we notice many LEU children being able to work independently and direct their own learning. We are heartened to see you, as Montessori parents, being guided by your children, and being so creative and flexible with the resources and plans that we send each week.

We have thoroughly enjoyed seeing your child’s face, albeit on screen, and we hope to see more of them over the next few weeks. The photo gallery below features some snapshots of what some children in LEU have all been getting up to over the last few weeks. Thank you to you all and stay safe!

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