My son’s journal entry for this week is about the “new routine” of school at home. He’s in second grade and he’s only got to write eight sentences about it, but I thought I’d write my own journal entry about our adventures in online academics and distance learning.
Many of you may know that I was a teacher in another life. I actually have a master’s degree in educational technology, so I understand the ins and outs and necessity of using technology in educational settings because the world continues to change. The jobs my kids will have may not exist yet, and they will use newer technologies to solve their day-to-day problems and tasks. Tech in education gets a bad rap sometimes. The problem is not the tech, it’s the lack of knowledge on how to use it properly.
This change in structure is forcing them to be more critical in their thinking, and self-regulating on their schedules. Strangely, my daughter who has autism and ADHD (inattentive type) is handling this shift much better. I was positive this would throw her for a loop. But she seems to be doing so well. Her only fuss is with some of the technology, but as she gets more comfortable with it her attitude improves.
My son thrives in groups and the lack of classmates is hurting him a bit. The whine level is pretty high with him most days, and I think it’s because he misses his playmates and instant feedback.
Of course, this makes mom a mediator. I follow up to check understanding, make sure they turn in their assignments, and help with printing and uploading, and be the IT person when the tech decides to do something unexpected.
Mom is now an enforcer as well. Gotta be the bad guy when people get mouthy, sassy or otherwise disrespectful. And sometimes, that’s frequently. I definitely don’t enjoy it.
On the plus side, I know exactly what they’re learning. When we go outside for some fresh air or see something on television, I can relate it to the learning. And of course, we are spending more time together.
It’s harder to work. It’s harder to find a moment to myself. But for them, I’ll do this.
MEGA PROPS to the teachers out there who had to scramble to put an entire month of work in an online format in just a few days. We are all in this together, and having dedicated teachers who remain present (in an online way) is crucial to their success.