COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Schools had to quickly figure out how to transition their work from in the classroom to on the computer. This pandemic has forced a lot of industries to move online, fast including education.
“No one expected we would be in a remote learning platform going into this school year,” noted president of the Ohio Education Association, Scott DiMauro.
Stacie Montgomery is a single mother of five and is out of work due to Covid-19.
“It’s been crazy! At first I was wondering how I would get them to do school work with one computer because they only gave me one computer for all four,” explained mom of five, Stacie Montgomery.
“One of the teachers was like, ‘I don’t know how it will work for you either.’ She got me a box of work books for all the kids and now I’m just doing one hour on the computer one hour on the work books.”
Teachers are doing their best to accommodate their students. because for a lot of parents its been a balancing act, especially for those who are working full time.
“There’s so much more responsibility and accountability on the parents and the child,” explained mom of three, Soley Somma.
Scott DiMauro is the President of the Ohio Education Association and hes amazed how these parents have stepped up in such a difficult time.
“I think there needs to be a lot of grace, a lot of flexibility and a lot of understanding,” noted DiMauro.
He says that one thing this crisis has done is put a spotlight on a system with a lot of inequities
“We see just how much schools are depended on for basic survival and basic support for children and families across the state. We have to direct resources to closing those equity gaps and be very intentional in what are those barriers of learning.”
Scott explains that moving forward it will take a lot of teamwork and data to make this easier and less stressful on everyone.
“The biggest frustration by teachers is when they just lose contact with kids,” noted DiMauro. “We have to be creative and collaborative in planning and recognize what has worked well during this experiment of the Coronavirus shut down and what hasn’t worked well and how do we make adjustments.”
“We need to make sure this is a learning experience that we take some time at the conclusion of this school year education support professionals all working together to do a deep dive into the data, how many students did we maintain contact with? How did we do in providing intervention for special needs students?”
Stacie says she’s finally found a good groove and knows what to expect if something like this every happens again.
The school district provided her family with a second computer and a free hotspot to ensure her internet would work a little faster for the kids.
“If this goes on through the fall I guess we’ll go with the flow.”
Some parents say they wish to see more mental health checks for their children by counselor and maybe more opportunities to work with other students remotely.
Some tips from moms who have found ways to make it work at home are sharing some tips to help distance learning work for your family:
1. As parents you don’t know everything your kids are learning so make it a learning experience for both of you. Join in on the classes or explanations with them when you can.
2. Give yourself some grace. If you miss something today just work on getting it done tomorrow.
3. At the beginning of the day, discuss the plan for the day. When does mom have a conference call so the kids have to be quiet? When is designated work time, play time and meal time?
4. Stay in touch with the teachers. they will help with issues, give some solutions you may not have thought of and be there when you get frustrated.