Never in a million years did any of us think we’d be working from home and teaching our kids, but here we are. This is 2020 (said in my best Barbara Walters voice).
As an employee of the Indianapolis Public School District and a single mother to my eight-year-old IPS student, I can tell you the struggle is real, but judging by most of your social media posts, I do not have to tell you this.
Parents are losing their minds over the expectations for the coming (let’s be honest) couple of months and as someone who works in education, I want to tell you to please calm down and that your student will be okay.
You are not being held to the same standards as our educators. Your students are not going to be graded as harshly if at all, about their work in the next couple of months, and their homework isn’t going look exactly like what the teacher had planned and it’s fine.
I know this freaks you out. Trust me. I’ve seen your concerns posted all over social media and let me comfort you by saying, not being challenged for a few months out of their entire education, is not going to do them any harm. They will still graduate high school one day, go to college, and become positive citizens. This pandemic will not dull their shine.
Keep in mind there is not a single student in Indiana and many other states, that are at school. Honestly, some students have probably already begun summer break because they don’t have the access to technology, the self-direction, or supportive parents that can help them navigate this difficult time. We are all, mostly, in the same boat here.
There are families out there that are out of a job and can’t afford basic needs, while some of you are worrying about grades and difficulty of work.
“If teachers are assigning grades right now, what they are grading is PRIVILEGE. Without the equalizing force of the school building and its services, limited as they are, teachers are grading on access to technology, wifi, food, housing security, and ableism.” Sim Kern said that and while I don’t know who they are, it’s a quote every single one of you should deeply consider before going on a downward spiral about e-schooling.
What your kids need more than anything right now, is love, a little daily structure, and to stay home and be safe. They do not need to worry about how they did on their last report card or if they’re being challenged enough. We are not living in the world we knew before March 2020, we’re now living in a moment where the big things have taken a backseat to health and you should try harder to embrace that.
This is the time to shine for some of you who e-mailed a teacher or principal with “ideas” to improve the classroom. I urge you, since you’re now the teacher in charge, and teach said lesson your way and see how it goes. Call it your own science experiment, if you will.
Listen, I know you’re all concerned and frustrated with e-learning, I get but it is not the end of the world. If there’s one thing everyone has learned during this pandemic, it is the gift of tolerance. You’re tolerating your spouse, your kids, and work. You should extend that gift to your school district because they are making learning possible during this unforeseen, difficult time. Just like you’ll do the best you can to educate your children, districts around our country are doing their best to make sure every, single one of their students has the gift of education at home. And I promise you, our teachers are going to work extra hard getting these kids back on track on that glorious day we can throw them back on the bus to school.
Until then, and I cannot stress this enough, calm down and know the future is bright