Emily, who's a teacher in Ridgefield, has begun back to school preparations by setting up a tent in her backyard.

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This is a true story written by Emily Kilbourne that appeared in the Hartford Courant on August 19. As a parent and grandparent, Emily's situation hit me right between the eyes. Emily has been a high school English teacher in Ridgefield for the last 14 years. She's also a doctoral candidate, the mother of a 5-year-old, and is married to a high school teacher. So why, you ask, is Emily moving outdoors to live in a tent in the backyard?

Unfortunately, her husband's medical conditions places him in harm's way if he's exposed to COVID-19. We're talking about serious health repercussions, or death, if Emily doesn't isolate from her family.

On the plus side, Emily told the Hartford Courant that the tent is relatively large, and she does have electricity plus a camping shower and toilet. It's not like she's in the middle of nowhere. That may be true, but seeing her son cry when he remembers that he won't be able to cuddle with her for who knows how long, breaks her heart.

This is just one of many individual predicaments that teachers are facing as they ready their classrooms for in-classroom learning. In her Hartford Courant article, Ridgefield English teacher, Emily Kilbourne, asks these two heart-wrenching questions,

What will be worse for my 5-year-old: Missing out on countless mom-kisses, or potentially having to bury his father? Enduring remote learning or having his first experience of school be under pandemic conditions?