The Pain of Teaching at Home

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The Pain of Teaching at Home

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This is story like many others during this time. The work of a parent with kids sent home for e-learning. Though I had a background in education, having an M.A. in Education, this was a task that was a difficult one that my education and years of teaching could not help me.
The first task is explaining to younger children why they have to stay home. Especially when we as adults are unable to truly grasp what is going on. The second part is trying to motivate students to learn when the school was not ready for this type of teaching. Though the teachers tried, the manner of teaching was a difficult one that led great stress during this time. To add to it, the consistency and norm for the children was shattered which required me to try to recreate that same standard, yet another difficult task. Added onto that, is a child that struggles with reading, which most of the assignments were backed by, instead of the lecture they were used to.
The first step was trying to set the norm for them. Breakfast, work, break, work, lunch, work, done. Though it sounds simple, with two separate students with different educational abilities, and drive for success, keeping one on task while the other was done or finishing faster was a task.
Aiding them was truly difficult. Some of the difficulties came from my teaching experience being middle and high school not elementary. The next being understanding some of the finer points of the material being taught, I found myself having to learn the material to then teach the material to my children.
To compound it further, there is the social aspect of being stuck at home with out the interaction they needed for their peers. Though I fancy myself a “cool” dad, I will never measure up to my kids’ friends. Attempting to fill this void was significantly more difficult than being their teacher.
Though my kids did not have near the growth they would have received academically while being in school, they did not lose intelligence and picked up some knowledge along the way. Though it took tears, patience, drive and resilience, it was a time that we can all reflect on and hope it never happens again, which it did, 5 months later, but everyone was better prepared and the lessons learned from the springs allowed for greater success on the second go. Here is to hoping it doesn’t happen again!!!

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This item was submitted on December 7, 2020 by Derrick Mattson using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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