If there's one issue dividing parents at this moment, it's the back-to-school debate. And while it seems few people can agree on the right course of action for the 2020-2021 school year, there is one thing most parents can agree on: they're all a bundle of nerves.
That's why Dana Kimmell, a kindergarten teacher at Sundown Lane elementary school in Canyon, Texas, posted a comforting message on her Facebook page that's gone viral. A mother of a rising kindergartner herself, she knows firsthand the uncertainty parents feel. Her class returns to the school building next week.
"It's [kindergarten] the first step in the children's education and it should be exciting, not scary," Kimmell told "Good Morning America." Although the state of Texas does not mandate mask wearing for young children, Kimmell's school district will require face coverings for all staff and students.
Her post reads in part: "Dear Kindergarten Parent, Let me help you understand what our babies are walking into. ❤️
Hi! Welcome to Kindergarten! I'm your teacher❤️, I'm so happy you are in my class! 😁 Look at my cool face shield!! Do I look like an astronaut? 👩🏻🚀 Maybe you'll get an astronaut helmet too! Oh I know you'll miss mama, this mama misses her babies! 👶🏼👦🏼 but GUESS WHAT....we get to see them again in just a little bit!!! ❤️Look! A new friend! Y'all are going to have so much fun at recess! It's time to go inside now....Give mama a HUGE squeeze, one you'll feel in your heart all day until you see her after school!!
It's time to wash our hands then find our spots! Let's learn a hand washing song! Are you ready? 🎵
Now let's learn our letters!! This is an A and it says "aaa" can you say it?? Do you hear it echo inside your face shield? Can you hear the sound you're making?"
Kimmell told "GMA" she's received "so much positivity" in reaction to her post. "Parents tell me they feel a sense of peace after they read it," she said. The school's received many of the items on its Amazon wish list since the post went viral, Kimmell said.
The kindergarten teacher said the first few days of school will have a lesson plan related to mask wearing and they will have fun with it. "We're going to pick super powers and the mask make them like superheroes," she said. The first book she'll read to her class? "What Should Danny Do?" -- a kids' book about a boy with the superpower to make good choices at school.