#confessions of a teacher during COVID-19 - a teacher mom keeping it real about distance learning - Mis Clases Locas

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#confessions of a teacher during COVID-19 - a teacher mom keeping it real about distance learning

Inside: Distance learning confessions of a teacher mom during COVID-19 quarantine. Just a teacher keeping it real while teaching and being a mom from home. 

#confessions of a teacher during COVID-19 - a teacher mom keeping it real about distance learning - shared by Mis Clases Locas



It is time for another #Confession post. I actually started this post the first week home during COVID-19 social distancing and no school. Well, it seems about right that it took almost a month to be completed as that basically sums up simultaneously working and mom-ing full time from home. 

I sent a mini confession to my email list and asked if they would be interested in a full blog post. The response was overwhelming yes. (If you were one of the ones who is not into me keeping it real, or don't care about those of us with kids of responsibilities at home, go ahead and skip to another one of my more Spanish teacher-y posts). 

Some of the emails I got back from sharing a few confessions broke my heart. Teachers are being DESTROYED right now, and there are few people out there outside if teachers who seems to get it. A teacher was forced to resign since her admin said she was not meeting expectations with online learning while simultaneously taking care of a disabled family member. Another teacher thinks she will be fired since she is being told she is not covering enough of the curriculum fast enough during distance teaching. (Umm, have they heard of kids over curriculum?) I know teachers who are expected to teach their exact schedule online or log 40 hours a week or other ridiculous requests that do not take into account that we are also parents, caregivers, sick, supposed to be teaching our own kids, have 0 daycare and can not have anyone come help due to quarantine, anxiety ridden about a global pandemic, or any combination of the above. 

I want to let everyone know that you are not alone!

Some are better at keeping up the positive public face, which is why your social media right now is filled with those seemingly perfect #HighlightREELS. It includes parents with Pinterest worthy quarantine Easter who have sewed 100 masks, plus the #teachergram and Twitter of single teachers with a beautiful home office video studio who just Love online teaching with every single kid with internet and a device showing up, doing the work, and has the financial and emotional means and support to be able to be fully present. I know neither of those are happening in my home and I really doubt either are the majority right now. 

I feel like I need to insert a dose or reality to hopefully help you realize that you are not alone. Teaching is HARD. Teaching in the current situations is dang near impossible. 

While I am right there with you, my biggest advice is take care of yourself. Personally, for me it means every day getting outside, working out, reading, having alone time, taking my work email off my phone, and setting clear boundaries about when you are working and available. You are not an on call nurse, and a student will live if you do not respond to their request about a new assessment at 10pm on Saturday. (With all of this, I do acknowledge my privilege and know these are not realistic for many teachers' current situations). 

For some background if you are new, I am a #deptof1 Spanish teacher in a small town with 6 & 3 year old boys at home full time while my husband is working full time outside of the home.  I fully acknowledge that I am blessed to currently not be sick or have anyone in my home sick, and to still have two incomes at the moment. 

Do you want to feel a little better about yourself? 

Here are 5 confessions:

1. I am anxious about the unknowns

Every step of the way has been hard. A proclamation from above, and then a few days to hear about how we were directly affected, and repeat, and repeat. At first we were cancelled until April 13th, and as of right now we are scheduled to go back to school May 1st. As a type A planner this is all SO HARD. I am trying to learn to be flexible, but at this point I just want to know that plan for the rest of the year. 

2. I am not following my own son's lesson plans

This week I nicely responded to a very lovely kindergarten teacher that while I appreciate their nice plans, we are doing our own thing. (His school is following the current voluntary educational plan set by the state, where everything is voluntary & I understand not everyone has this privilege). For us that means he might do some of the educational apps they recommended like IXL during his quiet tablet time (aka my teaching or sanity time when the 3 year old is supposed to be napping), but other than that we are playing outside as much as we can, reading and playing games. I have taught my son to play a full game of Phase 10, as well as Garbage, so we are just going to call that math for this month. 

3. I did very little school the first month

In Iowa the first month was waived for educational days by the governor. We were only allowed to provide enrichment. Nothing was required, no grades or attendance could be taken, no new content, and we were paid. So, I posted enrichment activities on Google Classroom, checked in with students, participated in faculty Zoom meetings, checked emails, and that was about it. I felt guilty when I saw the intense teaching my online friends were doing around the country and then ashamed to post anything, as that was not what we were doing. I was honestly pretty anxious about all of the unknowns and spent a lot of time hiding reading in my room, watching Nexflix (see #4), and enjoying a beverage once the kids were in bed. 

4. We have watched a lot of shows

Netflix in Spanish - Alone, I watched the new seasons of: Las Chicas del Cable, Elite, Siempre Bruja, La Casa de Papel. 
Netflix in English - With my husband once the kids go to bed we have watched: On My Block, Tiger King, Love is Blind & are on season 2 of All American.
Hulu - Little Fires Everywhere
Disney+ - We finally caved and got Disney+. Hello rainy days with kids introducing them to the old Disney classics. 

5. Poop happens

This past Monday was the first day of our next phase of voluntary educational enrichment. There are still no grades and nothing is required, but not we can give new content. In my district we are required to meet with each class one per week via Zoom, plus I am posting weekly slideshows with daily suggested activities of 20-30 minutes per day. I scheduled all my class at 1pm which is supposed to be nap/quiet time since my husband is still working full time outside of the home.  Well day 1, 2 minutes into my first Spanish 1 zoom, my 3 year old leaves his bed, opens my door, and announces "I have to poop!" This means a few minutes later he then yelled from the bathroom across the hall "I am ready for you to wipe me!" (So, yes I had to leave my class to do just that). Yep, that sums up teaching virtually while being a mom. 


Well there you have it. (In true teacher mom time crunch fashion I was planning on 10, but we are going to have to cut it to 5;) Those are just some things I thought I would share to hopefully validate some of the overwhelm you currently feel.  I know that there are many people in much, much worse situations, and I pray that we make it out of this pandemic with a little more love and grace for each other. 

*Update 4.17 - We are now closed for the rest of the school year with voluntary distance learning in place for the duration. 

#confessions of a teacher during COVID-19 - a teacher mom keeping it real about distance learning - shared by Mis Clases Locas



If you are overwhelmed and in need of resources to make your life easier, I rounded up my favorites for you. Spanish Resources for Distance Learning > blog post
(If you do not want to read a whole post, here are the digital resources people have been finding helpful lately)
*Literature Circle Unit (Sp3/4)
*Present Tense Super 7 Unit
*Weekend Chat 2
*Jaja jueves
*Google Doc Stations 
*Digital Lesson Plan templates
*NEW FRENCH Weekend Chat 

Update: You can find all of my posts related to distance learning here!

Abrazos!!
Allison 




4 comments

  1. I so appreciate and enjoy your posts. My kids are a little older now (15, 14, and 9) but I am still finding this challenging in its own way. My district (Philadelphia) has allowed for some flexibility and grace, which I was at first confused about (you mean we're not continuing?) but now appreciate, and need. Your story in #5 reminded me of the time I was with students on a trip to Spain but I also had along my kids. My son, then 2, pooped his diaper while we were at a formal presentation at Thomson Reuters, a company with headquarters in Barcelona and Philadelphia that had invited us to visit. It was one of those can't be ignored diaper issues. I will never forget the sweet man who invited me to use his office to change my son!

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  2. I always, always, always appreciate your candor and caring for others. I love these posts as they make me realize that I am, indeed, human. Keep taking care of you and thanks for all the resources and encouragement!

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