Towards the end of the week I saw a post on social media that a friend of the family that lives in Texas saying that the official announcement that schools would be closed for the remainder of the 2020 school year. I spoke to another friend over the weekend in Illinois who said they were also out of schools for the remainder of the year.
Here in California, that announcement was made some time ago, leaving parents and students to enter the hell that is “Distance learning”. Our school district (IUSD) closed schools the week of March 16th. The staff had to scramble to get online materials available to the families that week. we started our adventure into Distance Learning that Wednesday. The good news for us is that Spring Break started the following Monday and it was for two full, glorious weeks.
We started back up on 4/6, right after our spring break came to an end. To say it has been all rainbows and puppy dog tails would be an outright LIE!!! We have had to deal with links that don’t work, missing instructions, incorrect instructions and loads of frustrations. On top of that, our little guy can be the not most receptive student. Most of the parents we have had conversations with have shared similar stories, not too many positive experiences and the same struggles we have experienced.
There are a million distractions at home that he is just drawn to like a moth to a toy shaped flame. It is very hard to keep his focus when all of the creature comforts of home are just feet away. Tell me about it kiddo, I have been working from home for about the same time, and it is hard to keep heads down for the entire day. He has gotten better and newmom has done a GREAT job giving him breaks and timing them well.
Newmom has patience when it comes to many things. I mean waayyyyyyy more patience than I do. Technology however, is not one of those things. When there is a link, she expects it to work as expected. We all expect the same. But when your job revolves around troubleshooting technology issues, you tend to understand that it’s not always going to work. Honestly I think there times where this experience was harder on her than it was for him.
The little guy can be STUBBORN!(he gets it from his mom (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)) Which doesn’t make it easy when he runs into adversity and decides he is DONE. I have heard him arguing with Newmom from my workspace. NO fun for either of them. Now, I am a firm believer that there are different types of authority in the eyes of a child. A child may feel like they can say or do things different to parent than they would a teacher and vice versa. I have heard and seen things with the little guy that he BETTER NOT be saying or doing to his teachers or he’s gonna get it!!
I do know it has been getting better. The Teacher is doing a better job with instructions for the parents and students. I Know it has been just as much a learning experience for the teachers as it has been for the students and parents. New mom even mentioned today that the past couple of days have been MUCH better, much more organized and less confusion.
So as we move along, each day getting us closer to the end of the school year I hope this experience will continue to get easier and easier. I REALLY feel for the class of 2020 and all of the experiences they have lost due to this situation. No Prom, No Graduation, no grad nights. All of the experiences many of us can look back on with fond (or not so find) memories. I feel for the student athletes who lost their season.
Unfortunately even after we send our little ones back to school for the 2020-2021 school year, we will collectively hold our breaths hoping we did a good enough job to prepare them for the next school year. Hoping that our distance learning experience was enough for them to be ready to perform at the next level. I am sure this is another aspect of our lives that will be changed forever as a result of the year of Corona Virus.