Logan was home visiting not so very long ago and we sat at the island sharing food and talking about everything going on in our lives.
“How’s school?” I asked, expecting the “fine” or “decent” I usually get when I ask him this question. You see, I ask to be polite, lol. Logan and school are like two peas in a pod, like peanut butter and jelly, like mac and cheese. They just go together. Naturally, the answer that followed took me by surprise.
“I hate it.” There was no bitterness in his voice. It was more like he was simply stating a fact. Regardless, the alarm bells in my head started going off.
“Wait, what? What do you mean you hate it?”
“It’s the remote thing, Mom. I hate that I have like seven Zoom lessons to catch up on, I hate that I am basically teaching myself, I hate that I don’t get to talk to my professors.”
Houston, we have a problem.
Now let me remind you of what I said just a few paragraphs back. Logan loves learning. He does well with the routine of school, he is incredibly disciplined, and the boy never met a topic he couldn’t tackle. He is humble about the fact that he is carrying a 4.0 in Computer Science. COMPUTER SCIENCE, friends, lol. And yet here he was expressing his dissatisfaction with the current learning environment and the first thing that popped into my head was “If Logan can’t do this, who the heck CAN?”
It seems like the answer is no one. Everywhere you look you can see Facebook posts or articles or memes about the struggles both the students and the families are having with what I like to call Zoom School. A friend of mine has a daughter who calls it “Poop School” and she isn’t wrong, lol. Trying to learn at home with no teacher, a myriad of tech issues, and a million distractions is not only NOT ideal, it is creating a community of stressed out families. No one is succeeding in this situation. The teachers hate not being able to adequately reach and teach the students. Parents hate that they can’t support their children with their studies and that every moment is a FIGHT; not to mention the fact that they have jobs of their own that they need to attend to. And most of all… the students are unhappy. They miss the spark and spontaneity that is in person learning; they miss their friends. We are writing persuasive pieces in class and our topic is the best model for learning during a pandemic. No surprise that the overwhelming opinion is that in person learning is better. Or as one of my students reported, “16 out of 17 students polled prefer to be in school” Data collection at its finest.
So here’s what I need you to know: We are fast approaching the 12 month mark of the pandemic and an end date is not yet in sight. The aforementioned genius child let me know that pandemics historically have lasted 18-24 months. Did you just inhale dramatically? lol or pull out the wine bottle? I get it. There is nothing we all want more than to simply get back to what we used to call normal. But until that day comes, might I suggest we cut ourselves some slack? I know that you know that I know that you are doing the best you can. It’s not perfect. In fact it can resemble a sh*tshow some days, lol, but it’s all we’ve got right now. So take one day at a time, breathe deep, swear often, and like labor pains, some day we won’t be able to remember how hard this all really was. Xxx