Thursday, September 17, 2020

Teacher Tom: What Are We Going to Do?

 Teacher Tom: What Are We Going to Do?

What Are We Going to Do?

A couple days ago, I had a conversation with the father of a six-year-old, a first grader who is gamely trying to engage in online first grade for two hours a day. He told me she is struggling: restless and distracted. She is zoned out much of the time. When those two hours are over, she is irritable and exhausted, taking herself to bed for a long nap. He is in despair because her school has just let them know that starting this week online school will become "full time." He said, "I don't know what we're going to do."

A mother of one of my former preschool students says she is "in grief" about the school year. He is bored, frustrated, and moody. "He is in a vacuum, no classmates, teachers, movement, or human-being-ness to take in and give off." As a corrective, she's started trying to do her own work in the room with him, where he asks her questions, shows off, and generally reaches out to her for the human connection he needs. She's a single mother and a small business owner, who has to get her work done, so even as she can't blame him, she can't help but get annoyed at the constant distractions. This is the most loving, devoted mother I know. This is a bright, enthusiastic, kid who always loved school. 

She writes, "The teacher's speakered-sounding, too-loud voice is reading math problems while you are supposed to CONTINUE READING:  Teacher Tom: What Are We Going to Do?