Please don’t let distance education drive a wedge between us. Now is not the time. You have to understand. There are things you don’t know. Scary things.
The relationship between parents and teachers during distance learning is on the brink of collapse. Back in March when the pandemic closed schools, you seemed to develop a new respect for teachers. Every day social media posts showed appreciation for the tough job of teaching.
Parades happened. Memes were written. Presents were given. Teachers were proud. We worked together.
Let’s do that again.
Now that we know that the pandemic, our new normal, is here to stay, social media is tearing us apart.
With the announcement of full distance learning this year, in many districts, came a tide of social media fury that caused a division between us. It shouldn’t.
Posts got meaner and meaner as the likes kept coming in both directions.
- Who is going to watch my kids while I work?
- Teachers are lazy.
- Essential workers do it every day.
- I am not getting paid to be a teacher.
- Our kids act differently with us.
- We are not babysitters.
- This is not what we want either.
- The pandemic can kill us.
Parents and teachers are hurt. It is like a trainwreck. We can’t help but read the posts, but feel sick to our stomach afterward.
Teachers understand both views. We are parents too. We know it is going to be difficult for you, and we want to help. There is nothing we want more than to see your child succeed emotionally and academically. We agonize over it. We lose countless nights of sleep thinking about our students.
But, there are things you don’t know.
Important things that put teachers at more of a risk in a school setting.
In younger grades, we tie wet shoelaces that we hope came from a puddle outside. Kids sneeze directly into our faces as they read to us. They reach out to hold our hands and impulsively hug us because they need it. How will they possibly understand that they will have to follow more rules now than ever? Will kids be labeled behavior problems because their very nature doesn’t allow for social distancing?
In the older grades, students feel they are invincible. They sip each other’s drinks. They chew each other’s gum (I know, gross) and love to hug their friends. Will they get detention because teens will be teens?
This is why back to normal schooling would be anything but.
Students will suffer.
What can be done to repair this relationship between teachers and parents? Maybe, we all need to practice the kindness that we teach our children. We cannot let social media divide us. We need to work together more than ever. Tell us what you need. We are here to listen.
It is the only way our children can succeed.
Let’s all be proactive. Distance learning can and will be successful this year. Teachers are using the summer months to prepare, plan, and strategize. Parents are brushing up on technology skills. It will be different from Emergency Distance Learning that was practiced in the spring.
Give it, and us, a chance.
Parents can form co-ops to get distance learning classwork done with other kids. Teenagers can volunteer to help with younger students since they are now able to do distance learning. Businesses are donating Chromebooks and connectivity.
It’s now time to strengthen our families and our communities.
The whole situation can be turned into a positive with a little effort and understanding.
Teachers and parents can work together to make these solutions a reality. We will accept this challenge together.
What are your thoughts on the relationship between parents and teachers during distance learning? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.