Week 1 of the SY 2020-2021 Down and I am too

Welcome back, I said it then and I will say it now…I am NOT MEANT to be an Elementary School teacher. We finished the first full week of school with Thing 1 from home. I have to give props to the school district for having a good plan in place for distance learning. However, with the need to oversee a 7 year old to make sure you get the information when they “forget” what the teacher said.

So, now I sit in three meetings a day listening to kids who can’t or won’t mute their mic while trying to get a little work done before it’s time to help Thing 1 with her schoolwork. Most of the days I wanted to go sit in the corner and rock back and forth telling myself it would all be okay. It’s not easy to homeschool kids, and I’m not looking for sympathy or bemoaning my fate, but instead I am recognizing how difficult the task of educating kids is.

My next point is, What was wrong with math the way it was? I grew up learning that hey 8+5=13 and you just knew that. I also used my fingers and toes to count I’m sure, but now there are number lines and all kinds of tools now. My biggest problem though is Common Core math. Why can’t we just teach kids that 8+5=13, but we have to make them turn it into 10+3=13.

I love Thing 1 absolutely, but trying to teach her math is something I’m having to leave to Mrs. Rex, because first it doesn’t make sense to me now. Also, I love Thing 1 because she doesn’t see the point in this group to 10 and explain why the little girl in the word problem who didn’t use that technique should have used it. She is incredibly practical and sees that you got the answer so why does it matter how you got there?

The next thing that is enough to get me to pull my thinning hair out, these apps and sites you have to use to complete the lesson plan which often don’t work initially. I have spent about a quarter of my day, every day trying to figure out why we can’t make one system or another work. If you’ve got spotty wifi, just forget about it, you’re not going to be able to do it. Also, I was thinking about these apps and wondering how well set up these companies are for hundreds of thousands of children needing to use it at once. It’s pretty insane when you think about it.

The constant response I get back when I note something is not working is “you have to close everything out every night so updates can be made by the district.” Ma’am I have been using networked computers like that for over a decade, I know what to do and make sure we are doing everything right, maybe you should let the school know there’s a problem with the program. Oh well, she’s doing a thankless job right now so I mostly let it roll off.

I think both Thing 1 and I are both exhausted by the time we finish her assigned work for the day. It’s tough, but coming along, and really there’s no choice but to forge ahead and learn every day. I hope you all are doing well with your own struggles during this time of chaos, but remember it’s only temporary there is hope for the future.

-Daddicus Rex

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