WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Amanda Jones is a busy mother of three, attempting to prepare for another school year.
“I like to know the plan,” laughed Jones.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy this year, as COVID-19 cases increase in the area and school plans change.
Jones admitted, “I get that they can’t make a plan a month in advance right now because who knows. But that just adds on to the anxiety.”
And the sheer thought of tackling teaching her daughter while balancing work, Jones said, is daunting.
“I don’t know how we do that to be honest,” said Jones.
Williamson County Schools released an updated plan Thursday evening which has students returning to school, for now.
“I’m actually pretty happy with the plan,” said Jones.
The major change, students will receive daily temperature checks and face masks are mandatory.
“When I first heard about my first grader wearing a mask all day, it made me tear up,” said Jones, “But then my husband reminded me that kids are resilient.”
Resiliency is exactly what Melissa Ericson, an early education teacher for nearly 17 years, is working to master.
“It makes my head spin,” Ericson admitted.
She’s up for the challenge as she works to restructure play and adds mask etiquette into her lesson plan.
“We’re going to leave our mask on. We don’t touch our friend’s masks. Those are here to protect us,” Ericson said with a smile.
She’s focused on finding other ways for her Pre-K students to learn early developmental skills that rely on facial expressions now covered.
“There’s always a danger that those children will not develop empathy and emotion, because so much of that is modeled from what they see,” said Ericson.
It’s a challenge not lost on Jones.
“I’m going to be praying for you, teachers,” said Jones.
And a responsibility Ericson is ready to face.
“They will be protected and nurtured just like we would with our own children,” said Ericson.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.