Things Scarier Than COVID…Doing Virtual Learning With These Kids, Mane!

Shameless shout out: Buy this shirt from Sincerely These Hands. The design is available on her website!

I am a fan of school and think every child deserves a chance to learn. I believe that No Child Left Behind is a valuable resource! I also believe there needs to be more money pout into education, school districts, and paying teachers! If a country can build a nuclear bomb, it can pay teachers better than $40,000/year! This nations wants too much from teachers to not pay them what they are worth!

With that said, virtual learning, next to birth, is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do! Since late February, early March 2020, I have been contending with my children’s anxiety, ‘Rona, teachers and their emails, missing work and re-enrollment for my children in another district! When I tell you this has been aggravating? I mean it! I mean alla it!

I have never been more frustrated, aggravating, relieved and enraged since my children where newborns when sleep was a complete myth! I have had to go off on my oldest child’s 6th grade math teacher (this was March 2020) after she refused to acknowledge my child was struggling with material she had never gone over! I have had to teach my children and remind them that to be on camera is till to be presentable! I have had to become more Mama Bear than Mama to make sure they get everything that they need.

Yet…the biggest aggravation lay ahead! When I had to move and transfer the girls to a new school district, I could get no one to answer the phone, return an email, or even realize the information on their website was wrong and out of date! In a pandemic! I was able to get someone on the phone–the Superintendent!–by just following the rabbit hole of memos an links! How is this life?!

So, after getting them registered, all information submitted via screenshot and emails, I had to choose if I wanted an in person option or a virtual option. Now, Torches, you know I work a day job. What you may not know is that day job is a 12-hour shift at a local hospital. So, maximizing time is what I do–daily! I have to! So the madness that went in to getting them ready for this? It made me want to buss every window out of the school district’s main office! Here is why.

1.) The laptops given to my children? One of them didn’t work–namely the camera.

2.) In getting the laptop replaced, took literally 3 weeks. Why? The center I was supposed to go to in order to swap the laptop out changed its ours on me. As I stated, I work nights! A change like this throws everything off!

3.) I have fielded more emails in the last (almost) 8 weeks than I have in the last 8 months about anything! This emails are anything from updating contact information (that I already did!), to scheduling for kids, to update that could be text messages. It has been an exercise in patience and the enduring of shenanigans.

4.) Having a child with a learning disability is hard enough. Having a child with a learning disability in a pandemic multiplies that difficult and makes it impossible! I have had to make sure paperwork is filed, return calls after working on all nights, send more emails to advocate for her well-being! There was even a recent scuffle I had with a Spanish teacher! This teacher either unaware of her needs or ignoring them, told me this–and this is a direct quote:

” I cannot do anything about her English ability or reading in English.

Oh, but I can. If the child has an issue reading her native language, how can she learn another with any type of ease? Needless to say, this situation escalated quickly. And didn’t end well.

5.) Have you ever had Parent-Teacher Conferences over Zoom?

6.) Headphones. Always buying headphones! How do they, are they, able to wear out so fast?! And my oldest had the nerve to ask me for some $60 Sony headphones? No ma’am!

7.) The kids eat ALL THE TIME! Where is the Food Fairy?!

With that said, my heart and sympathies–and snack money!–go out to the parents, aunts, villages, and grandparents that are helping the students in their lives to cope, to learn, and to make sure all the assignments are turned in. We can make it…I hope.

[image from SINCERELY THESE HANDS Facebook page]

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