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.

Student or Teacher???

Student or Teacher

As the regular school year has come to a close I find myself sitting here reflecting on the school year and my career as an agricultural educator.  Throughout my 11 years as an educator, there have been many of lessons learned.  Some have been more easily learned than others and some have hit me like a eighteen wheeler running down the interstate.

Though not a new lesson to many of us, but probably one of the most important lessons, is the importance of building relationships.

I am blessed to have the opportunity to not only build positive relationships with myWade 1 students in the classroom but also through the FFA organization. I find many of my week nights, if not working with FFA career development events, following my students and their athletic teams.  Through my attendance at these activities I don’t only develop positive student relationships but develop relationships with their families also.What some overlook is that those relationships can often make or break many of our students and us as educators too.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with some of the greatest kids in the world.  Though there is a couple of experiences that stick out the most. One of those this spring a group of student and I traveled the state every weekend from mid February through the end of March traveling from one FFA contest to another.  Over 1,000 miles spent in a van, you get to know each other pretty well. They definitely expanded my knowledge of popular teen music, as the first stop we ever made was to buy an aux cord. During one of our practices one student’s statement really made me realize the importance of positive relationship building.  This student told me I was the closest thing to a dad she had ever had. She appreciated that I cared about every aspect of her life, just not the academics.  The role we take as teachers is continually evolving.  To some students we do become that parental role for others it may be a different. Continue reading “Student or Teacher???”

How can I ask if I didn’t know?

How can I ask if I didn’t know?

how-can-i-ask

Recently, hubby and I had a heated “discussion” about my belief that I had to physically drive to the bank to pay the truck payment. My belief goes back almost 20 years.

In 1998 my mother co-signed a loan to purchase a new car for me. When we left the bank, the loan agent told me, “Each month just bring in your payment and the loan book. We will tear out a receipt for each payment.” After that I just always took my payment book to the bank.

As our “discussion” wound down, my husband said, “If you don’t know something, just ask.”

How was I supposed to ask, if I didn’t know that I didn’t know it???? Continue reading “How can I ask if I didn’t know?”

What do you want to learn?- a first day question for students

What do you want to learn?– first day question for students

What do you want to learn

On August 23rd I began my teaching journey at State Tech. My lesson plans were written, my Introduction PowerPoints ready to go, syllabi were photocopied, and my broom was ready to fly. (More about the flying broom will be discussed in later posts.) What I was not prepared for was the openness my students would show towards learning.

To kick things off in my COM 101 course, I created a grammar pre-test. It was important to know what grammar skills my students possessed. It consisted of 15 multiple choice questions and was not for a grade.

Within a minute or two of starting the test, I could see frustration forming on the faces of my students. After four or five minutes, their grumblings were audible. By the time they finished their pre-test, I could almost smell a mutiny. In my most professional and reassuring manner, I tried to persuade them it would ok.

We finished up the pre-test and headed back to our regular classroom. I observed head shaking and defeated student reactions as I followed them. I had just learned that grammar was not my students’ strong suit.

Fortunately, I had anticipated this and had a question ready for them. Continue reading “What do you want to learn?- a first day question for students”