Quarantine: What Teachers Are Expecting from Parents

COVID Parent Expectations

As our nation faces another week of stay-at-home orders, mandated and self-quarantines, and growing fears for time lost from work or school, I recently had someone ask me, “What do you, as an educator, think about trying to keep school going at home?”

Well, I can’t speak for ALL educators, but here is what I know and believe.

First of all, we miss the kids. We miss the classroom. We miss being able to teach, interact, hug, listen to, and learn from our students.

The greatest hope we have for our students is that they are safe, secure, and still learning on some level.

While most parents don’t have degrees in classroom management or educational psychology, the majority understand what it means to be a kid. Maintaining awareness for their innocence and young minds needs to be in the forefront of our thoughts as we interact with them.

With regards to lesson plans, please just do your best. Try to provide opportunities for kids to make connections between what they normally would be learning in school and what they are getting at home. While there aren’t SmartBoards, extensive libraries, and gymnasiums in our homes, there are still plenty of ways to encourage our kids to keep learning. Some families don’t have computers or internet access. There are still ways to engage children in reading, math, science, and physical activity. Parents, allow yourselves to learn news ways to communicate positively with your children and let them know that change is hard, but we can make it easier together.

To those who say, “It’s not my job to teach. I’m not making my kids do homework,” teachers view all children as their own. When you refuse to put effort into helping your own child learn, you are refusing to help everyone. Please don’t take that from them or us. We all deserve to have knowledge and understanding as this pandemic impacts our lives. You are that child’s parent, and, therefore, you are their first teacher. Join us in the work we do to ensure bright futures open to continued growth and knowledge.

Finally, please remember teachers are people too. We have fears, anxiety, and questions that can’t be answered. We are doing our best to share as much information and as many opportunities as possible with your kids, while caring for/teaching/raising/coping with our own families. Please don’t let our efforts be something that is also lost during this time of crisis.

Again, I can’t speak for all teacher, but this is what I believe most would say. Be safe. Stay healthy. Read, write, experiment, exercise, love, and learn.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. Parents, it’s okay to put yourself in detention if you need a time out, but don’t punish your kid if new Math is confusing. Teachers had to learn it too.

P.P.S. Parents, it’s also okay to give yourself an apple or a chocolate bar when you’ve done a good job of helping get through those workbook pages.

P.P.P.S. Teacher friends, thank you for stretching yourselves and adapting to these crazy conditions. You’ve all earned A’s in my book.

The Black Hole of Parenthood

Black Hole of Parenthood

When I had my babies, I didn’t really mind staying home all the time. My “free” time was spent caring for them. I loved watching them day in and day out, but as they grew to be toddlers and the newness of having an infant had worn off, I found that I really did want to do things outside of our home…………. without the babies.

At a family gathering my sister Olivia and I watched our kiddos play and lamented the need for a break. She explained our situation as being “The Black Hole of Parenthood.” We would not see the light of a social life until our kids were older and the pull of constantly supervising them grew weaker. Eventually, there would be time for having dinner with friends or dates with hubby, and we would break away from the forces of the black hole. My thoughts were that most black holes crush whatever enters them (I didn’t really want to be crushed) and (even though I wanted a break) I didn’t really want my kids to be big enough to not need me. Continue reading “The Black Hole of Parenthood”

The Heroics of Parenting

The beauty of cinema is that it often has the power to put into words what we most need to hear at the toughest times in our lives.

This summer my husband and I took our kiddos to see Incredibles 2. As the film progressed it was clearly a flick for both kids and parents. There were many powerful messages for parents who doubt their “super” status in the realm of child rearing and a number of messages for kids about the importance of always doing what you know is right.

EdnaIn a scene where Bob (the dad) is at his wit’s end about being a good dad, Edna (the family’s designer) shares a powerful message. One that we need to remind ourselves of often. “Done properly parenting is a heroic act.”

The elements of “properly” and “heroic” give this statement some serious intentergy.

Continue reading “The Heroics of Parenting”

This Mama’s Heart

This Mamas Heart

This Mama’s Heart via Daily Prompt: Nervous

When you become a mother you give away your heart.You love stronger and harder than you ever imagined possible. That love grows with your child. The pains that come with it grow too.

This mama’s heart has grown and loved in so many ways since the births of my three kiddos. My heart has calmed and smiled at their peaceful sleep and joyful discoveries. It has hurt and beat to rocky rhythms when they have scared me with their  recklessness and angered me with their antics.

With each doctor visit or ER escapade, my heart has really taken a beating. Sprains, stitches, and broken bones leave their scars. However, the ache isn’t truly felt until after the whole ordeal is over.

In the last two years I have made six trips to the emergency room. Not all of the trips were for my kiddos, but the impacts on my heart were no different whether I was taking in hubby, my own mama, or one of my babies.

This spring my daughter broke her arm. Like all of our other trips to the hospital, I was able to stay calm and put together all of the information and documents needed to ensure beneficial care be provided. Similarly, my heart ached as I watched someone I loved lying in that hospital bed. Later that night I woke suddenly. My heart was racing. I could not catch my breath. I was shaking. Continue reading “This Mama’s Heart”

There’s a Biscuit in the Bath Towels

Biscuit in the Bathtowels (1)

I don’t remember why I went to the linen closet. I was too surprised by the biscuit in the bath towels to remember what had guided me there.

After announcing that there was a biscuit in the bath towels, I saw a shy grin form on the face of my six-year old. “Mom, sorry. I left it there when I was getting my band-aids yesterday.”

This made me smile because the band-aid situation had been pretty funny too.

The previous day my son proudly made his way outside to play without wearing a shirt. There is just something liberating for little boys when they discover that they don’t have to wear a shirt in the summer time. Any way….

Our dog jumped up and scratched my son’s side. He came in showed me the battle wound. I asked if he would be okay and he said, “Yes, but I might need a band-aid.” I replied, “No blood. No band-aid.” Continue reading “There’s a Biscuit in the Bath Towels”