This is just a wild guess, but perhaps you’re feeling a little overloaded with the stress of keeping everyone alive and healthy, being home together All. The. Time, overseeing school, and maybe even working a full-time job. And if you’re an essential employee and/or a healthcare worker, you’re trying to do alllll that while still maintaining your sanity and venturing out to a job where you have to worry about your own health and safety, probably with limited resources and new policies to contend with.
I get it. I totally do. I’m writing this after working a full 8 hours in which I barely got up from my desk and sent my 2nd grader to fly solo to his first Zoom meeting. <Nervous laughter, I apologize to Mrs. Morris for whatever he told you and the messy house you probably had to virtually tour.>
But here’s the thing. It’s not possible to do it all. It’s just not. With few exceptions, you are not a teacher. The people who educate our children are trained professionals with years of experience. They go school supply shopping for giggles and spend lots of time outside of school thinking about what to do INSIDE of school. They probably read nerdy teacher books… for fun!
YOU? Probably do none of these things. You likely have no teacher training. I’ve seen what you read, and it’s a little closer to Danielle Steele or Rachel Hollis rather than John Hattie (<-see, you probably don’t even know who that is. I didn’t. I had to ask an ACTUAL TEACHER.)
All that to say: it’s okay if you’re kinda sucking at this.
(Sidebar conversation: I hope this experience spotlights the value that teachers bring to society. Teaching is a career, but it’s also a vocation, a calling, and a profession. Teachers are TRAINED PROFESSIONALS, and when we all get back to campus, I hope we as a society treat them that way. The skills, experience, and passion they bring to educating our young people cannot be overstated. Okay, rant over.)
So. Knowing that this is not your wheelhouse, I’m giving you permission to not be great at homeschooling, and I think our teachers would agree with me here. It’s okay to throw your children at the mercy of their actual teachers and just trust that whatever curriculum they’re facilitating is going to get us all through. It’s okay if you choose to do school after your workday or on weekends, and it’s okay if you are relying on Disney+ and a small army of nannies or family members to shepherd your kids through each day. It’s okay to not have a Pinterest-worthy color-coded schedule and colorful educational posters on your walls. (Also? It’s okay if you do, if that brings you some happiness and order then full steam ahead!) But know that your teachers – who are trained professionals, I can’t emphasize this enough – WANT to help you. They’re working around the clock to think of new ways to connect with our kids and bring some semblance of normalcy to all of our lives. If something isn’t working or if their instructions or methods are making you crazy, just tell them. (And likewise, if they are doing something really tremendous or implement a new process or resource that you love, tell them that too! They’d love your feedback!)
Finally, if you are an essential worker or a front-line healthcare worker or are otherwise having to show up on the front page of this crisis, tell your teachers that too. I think parents like me who are just merely inconvenienced by working & schooling from home would all agree: we want your family to have more time with our teachers. The last thing we want is for you to come home from the hospital or your workplace and feel like you have to take on the responsibility of teaching 6th-grade math or Kindergarten phonics. You don’t. You are not a teacher. You are a nurse or a retail worker or whatever it is you do – and we are grateful for you.
This is a crazy time for everyone and knows that we all, this whole village, are doing the best we can to show up for each other. If you need help, please ask whether that’s educational support, groceries, or just a friend to talk to.
Sending buckets of grace to you all!