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Goodbye summer and hello back-to-school

Melanie Ng | posted Tuesday, Sep 15th, 2020

Like clockwork.  Labour Day weekend wraps up.  It’s goodbye summer and hello back-to-school.

Being in the news business, that means gearing up for wall-to-wall coverage.  Speaking with parents, teachers, kids, officials… it’s all hands on deck.  Many of our viewers are looking to get back into a routine and BT is honoured to be part of that.  We want to give you everything you need to feel prepared, especially this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic.  Except this year is different for me – and not just because of coronavirus.

Of all the years that my son could start his schooling journey, this is the one he’ll need to navigate: 2020, the year of uncertainty.  For me, on top of the typical “my baby is all grown up and going to Junior Kindergarten” feelings, my anxiety is through the roof…and I know I’m not alone in feeling this way.  Every parent I speak to is second-guessing their decisions when it comes to schooling.   My professional obligations (being there for my news team) and my personal feelings (being there for my 4-year-old, who will be attending in-person classes) were having an epic battle.  In my 10 years at Citytv, I’ve never had the first day of school off.  I’ve never needed it.  To be honest, no one really asks for it because typically you can take your kids to school and then head to work.  But with my early hours, it’s impossible – and I knew that for my son’s very first day, I NEEDED to be at home.

I wrote a long e-mail to the bosses making my case for the day off.  The worst they could say was NO.  But instead, I got a YES.  More importantly, on top of that yes, I got support.  Here’s the thing that not everyone gets to see behind the cameras.  Our BT team is like a family.  Just like how I worried about being there for my family, they worried about me.   When you cover the news, it’s easy to put on a tough face and ask the difficult questions.   But at the end of the day, I’ll always be that mom, trying to balance it all while serving up Kraft Dinner because it’s easy in a pinch (and let’s face it, it’s delicious).

As I sift through the multiple masks, hand sanitizers and menu inspirations for litterless lunches, I know there’s only so much I can personally do to prepare him (and me).  Let’s face it, kids are more resilient and adaptable than we give them credit for.  But, here’s one thing I know for sure:  I’ll never stop asking the questions – for him, for me and for YOU.


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