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checkerjane checkerjane is online now
 
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Anyone else afraid the parents will drive you bonkers?
Old 03-28-2020, 07:26 AM
 
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I hate dealing with parents. Itís the worst part of teaching for me.

Iím concerned that parents are pissed about having to homeschool their kids that theyíre going to drive me nuts with this online learning deal, as in asking me stupid questions.

I honestly think some parents in my area view this as an extended break for teachers and that weíre just pushing papers at their kids. I think Iíve put in a weekís worth of work hours in the last two days preparing for this, and Iím still not done.


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Old 03-28-2020, 07:30 AM
 
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No. Don't get me wrong. I have my share of difficult parents. But these are unprecedented times. We're all extra stressed and we're all in this together.

I kill them with kindness and let go of what I can't control.

Everyone wants a different level of contact and support. I've been in front of my computer for 15+ hours a day all week. I've decided that I need to set more reasonable hours and just do what I can do.

At least they won't be showing up at my classroom door to yell at me.
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Supportive
Old 03-28-2020, 07:39 AM
 
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Most of my parents have been supportive, but it doesn't stop that I am still anxious about parents!

I had one parent send me a scathing e-mail yesterday, and I can't get it out of my mind. I'm doing the best I can.
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Crazy
Old 03-28-2020, 07:47 AM
 
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Truthfully, I think thereís two sides to every coin. Weíve been out for almost 2 weeks. We all have posted lessons, provided paper versions, been available, and I personally have been posting something lighthearted (trivia, community question, kid-friendly meme, inspirational quote) every day except Sunday.

You might be worried about too much parent involvement... however, Iíve had ZERO parent involvement. Iíve received work of any kind from less than 5 students - I teach middle school, and have multiple classes. Iím remembering that school is not the most important thing in times if crisis, while also trying to be as ďnormalĒ as possible in how Iím posting and providing materials.

I think we just...do the best we can with what we have, be patient and reasonable, and try not to put too much pressure on ourselves.
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I've wondered the same thing.
Old 03-28-2020, 08:54 AM
 
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We start our online teaching next week since this is still Spring Break here in Oregon. I'm completely unsure of how things will go. Wondering if parents will be involved and if students will do any of the work.
I'd love to hear advice on how to increase participation if anyone has any.


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Old 03-28-2020, 09:27 AM
 
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Quote:
I'd love to hear advice on how to increase participation if anyone has any.
Include fun activities. No kid wants to just do online lessons and/or worksheets.

Provide math related scavenger hunts.

Math related games.

Choice.

Also read aloud time. This is the time of day when I consistently have all students participating! I gave mine a catchy name that involves my cat because he inevitably ends up on my lap during read aloud time. The kids love tuning in just to see if my cat will be on my lap. An added bonus is that I have a 2nd cat who is very jealous of this cat and can often be heard in the background meowing angrily. Or, she just jumps up, as well, and disrupts the entire thing. The kids love it, though! I know the cats are one reason they tune in. Even if you don't have a live pet, a stuffed animal would do.

I think my main error during week 1 was underestimating how stressful this is for parents. Even though I tried to keep it fun/light, it was still hard for them!
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Increasing participation
Old 03-28-2020, 09:50 AM
 
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To be honest, seeing the parent side of things and trying to work from home along with my husband... we are stressed. My son hasnít done anything yet because we werenít able to this week.

Itís hard on parents. I would keep expectations low. Some are working in health care, some may be sick, some may be dealing with new expectations from work. Itís all new. Lots of grace to parents right now.
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Old 03-28-2020, 10:25 AM
 
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Just had a parent contact me to let me know one of their family members just died of COVID-19.

For many families, schoolwork has fallen waaaaay down on their priority list.
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Old 03-28-2020, 10:45 AM
 
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My thought is that if parents are complaining, that means they are at least participating. We start on Wednesday and I think we'll have very low participation.

I do have one very "over the top" family whose child moved to the intermediate teacher's sped caseload this year and I have to admit it crossed my mind to be thankful for that!

On my caseload I have one super involved family who is always insisting their child is not learning because he's not interested in the way we present material . We're all taking bets on how many days it takes for mom to complain that the online lessons are boring/if this is what his regular school day looks like, no wonder he doesn't pay attention.

So yeah, I guess I'm expecting some complaints but I guess I'd rather hear that than radio silence. I'm honestly afraid we're going to do all of this work and families aren't even going to look at it.
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:07 AM
 
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I'm enforcing 8 to 3 "office hours" for responding to parent messages. We don't have anything urgent going on , so it's not like I need to be on-call 24/7.

I'm dealing with 14 & 15 year olds reviewing standards with new material, so they're pretty self-sufficient. So far these have been my biggest complaints . . .
  • I can't get him to work for me. (Welcome to my life, lady.)
  • He says this is too hard. (That's code for "I don't want to do this. Tell him to suck it up and do it.)
  • He won't turn off the tv/games and do his work. (That's a parenting problem. That's all you.)

A few are also complaining about grades. Every day something is due, I put in missing in the online program so both us us know it hasn't been turned in yet. True, it makes the overall grade look bad, but there is zero penalty when it does get turned in. It's just a "just so you know" kind of thing. The kids, of course, know all of this because it's the same way we have been doing things since AUGUST. They're playing dumb to their parents. They do back down fast when I contact parents, though.


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Virtual Field Trips
Old 03-28-2020, 11:57 AM
 
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Quote:
I'd love to hear advice on how to increase participation if anyone has any.
I did a few virtual field trips this week and had students leave a comment on Google Classroom after checking them out. I was shocked. I thought 4th graders would respond with "cool", but no, they replied with new facts they learned, reacted to things they read, built off of what other people said, made connections, etc. Their comments went way beyond "Cool" and such.

I'd also like to try a digital escape room this week.

My students have loved doing Quizlet live. I'll create a quizlet and then set a time for Quizlet live for kids to meet, where I post the link and code on Google classroom and they can play. It's optional, but those who join LOVE it! I want to try Kahoot and GimKit, too. The kids love these games. The best part is when we play at school, they get so loud because they are so excited. When we play with remote learning, they're so quiet!
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Old 03-28-2020, 12:20 PM
 
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To the OP, I have not had that experience. We've been out two weeks and I've largely been posting fun, not too serious stuff for kids to do because we've had no directives. I went into it thinking that I would have ZERO kids doing anything so I kept my expectations low.
You know what? Of course many kids didn't do anything lol. Some of them don't do anything in class. But others did, for whatever reason. When I've had an email from a parent, the emails have been pleasant and cordial----asking for clarification or if their kids could redo work at home or things like that.
If parents do get snippy with me, I'll try to brush it off because times are unprecedented and people are beyond stressed. I feel fortunate that I'm in the almost best of all possible circumstance: I have a supportive administration, a good team that I work with, a good core subject team where we're all largely on the same page, I can work at home and help DD (even if as a teen she's kinda a pain in the butt about doing the work). As far as I know, my family is all able to largely stay at home and self-quarantine and is taking care of themselves to the best of their abilities.
Others are not in the same position. I'm not going to get snippy with them if they don't have their kids do the work and if they lose it with me I'm going to assume that they're doing the best they can.
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They have been
Old 03-28-2020, 01:16 PM
 
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They have been, but it is not because they are trying to be rude. Itīs just that questions from my 115 students AND their parents equals a million questions and messages. I understand and itīs just the reality of the situation.
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Claire
Old 03-28-2020, 02:06 PM
 
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Soooo true!
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Old 03-28-2020, 04:55 PM
 
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Claire, that's actually an excellent point. I've been kicking myself as to why I haven't been able to get as much done as I'd imagined. Between Zoom meetings with the whole school, Zoom with my team and texting with them, I've also been answering a lot of emails. You've hit the nail on the head---it's not being mean, it's just A LOT OF QUESTIONS. I'm going to cut myself some slack lol.
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I understand
Old 03-28-2020, 09:12 PM
 
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But Iím not even going to try actually holding kids accountable for real work on objective academic standards during this time. My school wouldnít support me if I wanted to do so in ideal conditions, so theyíre definitely not going to during this crisis. All parents at my school care about is a high grade. They donít care about rigor or mastery of academic skills.
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Old 03-29-2020, 01:54 AM
 
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We have been doing distance learning for a week and a half. We are required to take grades in every subject. Students are expected to spend four hours a day on learning. It has been hard. Not moving for 12 hours a day trying to get this going has been hard. Not seeing my students or the staff in person has been hard. Zoom is not the same. I canít imagine doing this until mid June.
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Online learning feels like so much more work
Old 03-29-2020, 10:12 AM
 
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Think about how you answer a question. If a student has a question about #4 in the classroom, they ask you and then you can clarify for the whole class. Takes a minute or two.

If a student now has a question, they have to type it out in an email, and then you open the email, go looking for the paper, find #4, think for a moment how to respond, go back to the email, type in the answer.

Now, if multiple students have the same question, you can either respond to each email individually, or you can post a message to Google Classroom, or send out an email to everyone. The process for answering a question just takes so. much. longer. Every thing seems to take much longer. I am sure it does for the students as well.

I think the stress of teaching and learning online seems higher. I agree with keeping it lighter and realizing that many families are very stressed right now. And, we won't make everyone happy. I feel that most parents have been supportive, so I try to keep that in mind.
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Old 03-30-2020, 04:35 PM
 
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Online degrees don't carry much weight anymore so I believe a better education is still in the classroom. I had to take some college classes online and hated it.
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