I was on the phone with a good guy friend the other day. We were doing our normal check in. We often say something that we're grateful for. I told him that I was grateful that I was able to be angry and sin not. That probably sounds like church religious jargon. I further explained that I was able to convey my feelings without yelling or saying hurtful things. I told him I communicated how I felt in a clear concise way while minding my tone. He responded "Brother, I failed in that area this week." He went on to say He's pretty sure that he took his frustrations out on his kids this week. He said "This virtual learning thing is hard." That immediately had my attention because another guy friend of mine just expressed earlier that day, and honestly every day since the virtual learning started, how difficult it is to keep his kids attentive.
I immediately tried to get them on the phone with one another so that they could talk and build some type of support system for each other.
See, I'm middle adjacent to the whole parenting while virtual learning. I'm in the middle of it with friends as I try to be the sounding board they need. I'm there when they need to vent and say things that they don't want people to hear and that make them sound like terrible people. I'm adjacent because I have a daughter who's doing virtual learning. She lives with her mom. She's seventeen. She's pretty self sufficient. She's preparing for college. She doesn't need that much hands-on. However all of my friends around me have first graders and kindergarteners. They are in the midst of the struggle. They are, what I'm coining, Substitute Parent-Teachers or at best Teachers Aids. That's what Ms Rosette Ladson, a counselor at Powell Elementary School in DC, calls them.
Parents are called on to be educators and let's admit it, most probably aren't qualified for it. I sure know I'm not. Yes the teachers are the facilitators but the parents are being lend on heavy to actually facilitate. They are called upon to make the teachers job easy virtually. The Substitute Parent-Teacher has to set up the classroom, i.e. have a designated work space that often time requires an actual desk. The SPT (Substitute Parent-Teacher) has to make sure the student has sufficient wifi. THE SPT has to make sure the student stays engaged. They are in charge of snack time and lunch time and break time and the times when the wifi goes out and "I can't hear the teacher time" and so on and so forth. Often times trying to manage their on careers virtually.
I can't even name half of the things that they deal with because again I'm middle adjacent.
This is the time to rally together. If you are reading this PLEASE comment below. Tells us about your experience so far being a virtual Parent Teacher. Please if you have any tips, share them. The readers will see them and we'll past them on.
We'll make it through together. We don't have a choice.................right?!
Any ideas to pass on doing this time of virtual learning? Do you have questions that you need answered? Comment below. Let's build a community to help out one another.
Let us hear your voice, our community wants to hear from you!
Written by: Q. Edmonds Lead M.O.T.M. StoryTeller