This is the fifth part in a series of images and interviews about how life has changed (or not) during the COVID-19 quarantine. The purpose is to show how we’re all in this together and we’re not all that dissimilar.
Amy Crain is a former colleague of mine and a master teacher at an elementary school in Ascension Parish. She is also a mom to three kids (including a set of twins!).
Q. How has working from home changed how you do your job?
A. I feel like a lot of what I do that is still the same as far as supporting and helping teachers. Collaborating with them and working with administration. Those are all things I do on a daily basis that I still do. What looks different is the type of support I give; there’s really not as much instructional support as it is technical support. That’s been a big part of my role in the transition, helping them figure out how to use Google Classroom, how to make videos, and how to leverage the people at our school who are really tech savvy to help other teachers. Organizing Google Classrooms in a way that’s easy for parents and students to use. Adjusting the lessons we are teaching and arranging logistics is more of what is happening now.
As far as instructional support, I do still give instructional support, but probably not as much instructional feedback. Our teachers are making videos and hosting live lessons multiple times a week, and they’re doing a great job. There’s very little I could tell them that’s a fair expectation. This is all so new to everyone. It’s a lot of feedback that’s logistical and technical. They’re great teachers, what they’re doing is very good and I think everyone is doing the best they can. There are too many outside factors to really give extensive instructional feedback. And that’s a big difference for me since I’m used to going into a physical classroom and focusing my attention on the instruction that’s happening and giving them support and feedback there.
Q. How is this affecting your own children?
A. I think they have a good understanding of what’s happening. The biggest thing for them is not seeing certain people. Not seeing their grandparents, their friends, their teachers. They play outside everyday and have a few friends from school in the neighborhood they still play with, so they still have some interaction, which I think has helped them stay more connected and okay. We’ve done a few things in the house and around the yard to help them with the boredom, like putting in a small pool. I think they get it. We take car rides and just get out in the world.
Q. What’s your silver lining in the craziness?
A. I got a bike very soon after the shut down, and I ride just about every day. It’s a moment for me, even though half the time I have a kid joining me. I can handle that. That balance of recognizing when I need to step away and get outside and away from the chaos of being home all the time. So the silver lining for me is physical activity, getting outside, doing those things that, before [the shut down] I may not have done; I’d have just come home and stayed in the rest of the night. Being more cognizant of the moments where I may be having some overwhelming feelings and channel it those some outdoor movement. And I hope I can hold onto that for “post-quarantine” life. I’m ready for okay-ness.
I am with you there, Amy. Ready for okay-ness. A return to something that resembles normal. How very lucky your teachers are to have you as their master teacher; someone who knows when to step back and breathe and handle the pressure with grace and love. 🙂