I'm A Teacher, And I'm Struggling With 'Crisis Schooling' Too

by Amy Betters-Midtvedt
Originally Published: 
child studying and learning with a digital tablet
Scary Mommy and Click&Boo/Getty

Yesterday it was 7:00 P.M., and we still were not done with online school.

I refuse to call it homeschool because we are in no way, shape or form homeschooling here. That would imply I am doing the work of an educator. I do zero lesson planning or assessing or any of the actual work of teaching. I have only one job, actually.

I am just the student wrangler.

And it turns out I can wrangle students in the classroom like nobody’s business, but at home, all the nopes.

I had 56 students in the same room with me and my teaching partner my last year in the classroom and we rocked it.

Five kids in my house trying to do lessons someone else planned and I have to do zero work for? Total failure.

I’ve gotten emails and phone calls from my kids’ wonderful teachers telling me of missed online meetings and assignments not yet done. They want to help, but the divide we are all facing is just too great for them to help in the way they so desperately want to.

All I can say is… yup. I know. I’m worried too.

I want to follow up with “I’m on it,” but we would all know that was a lie.

I am not on it.

I started working with my youngest this morning at 10:00 am and by 11:00, with only one class done, I sent him from the room to play LEGOs and just be off my person so I could finish my own workday.

When I finished my work I couldn’t even drum up the energy I needed to help him move forward so instead I ate some chips and played a little Hay Day and tried to stay really, really quiet so he would think I was still working and wouldn’t come find me to start working on school again.

I’m so not on it.

We are lucky to have one self-starter who is good at deadlines here and that person is gold. They are like the magic baby that you bring home from the hospital and just sleeps through the night.

Markus Trier/Pixabay

The rest of these people are not like that. Not one bit.

And yet there is no reason for anything they are not doing well right now to define them. They are amazing and loved humans that aren’t adjusting to online learning.

Let’s focus on the amazing and the loved.

If you’re with me please know it’s OK that we don’t know what we are doing… there is no way we or our kids should know what we are doing.

I heard an educator today call this crisis schooling and I thought this was the perfect way to say it.

We are trying to keep kids learning in a time of crisis. That is not home schooling.

This is new, uncharted territory. For for some, it might be smooth sailing and for others, rough terrain. And you might all move from smooth to rough minute to minute without a bit of warning.

The worst thing I do during this time is tell myself I should be better at this. That my kids should be better at this.

We shouldn’t.

If we are sucking at all the things it might be because we are doing brand new things while also living under pretty darn stressful conditions. For that reason, things might be getting harder instead of easier. And that’s okay.

These are not normal times. It’s okay if you are not on it. It’s okay if your kids aren’t rocking it.

Grace for you and for them and for the teachers and for all the people.

Do the best you can today. Help your kids do the best they can…even if you just skip a day all together because you can’t even.

Remember even some teachers (me…for sure me) are struggling with their own kids’ crisis schooling.

But on the other side, they’ll still be ready to right our wrongs once our kids are back in school where they belong. It’s their job and they already are making plans.

For now they really just want the same thing we want…to make it through this to the other side with our kids knowing they are amazing and loved.

The math will sort itself out — so let’s focus on the hearts in the meantime.

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