Fellow mamás, can you believe we are now well into the third year of a pandemic? What’s more unbelievable is how we’ve had to adapt (without much guidance) to pandemic schooling.
I don’t know about you, but this “new normal” of doing school — sometimes virtual, sometimes hybrid, occasionally physical, and always exhausting — has been quite the feat.
Though I understand that my kids and I are privileged in many ways (we have access to WiFi, have functioning devices, and are given space for their schooltime), it doesn’t take away from how chaotic pandemic schooling has been. Not just for me. I’m talking about the collective we at this point.
As year three rushes past us, the elephant in the room is whether or not we can make this situation more bearable. Is it actually possible?
Well, let’s consider some things.
You aren’t alone
If there’s one thing I realized early on is that pandemic schooling is almost impossible if done by yourself. As a single mother of two — one in middle school and the other in high school — I thought I would go crazy when all this pandemic madness started.
From getting ready for virtual work to making sure they were connected, set with their endless virtual school profiles (accessing Google Classroom me tenia loca!), and was it me, or did the homework get more challenging during the pandemic? I was rapidly drowning, as was the rest of my small family.
It wasn’t until I confided in my friends about the situation that they decided to set up a routine to help me check on my kid’s academic progress. At that moment, I realized that I was halting my growth as a parent because I hadn’t allowed anyone in, not even my friends, to help me. But tough times call for tough measures (I hope that’s the right saying, I’m bad with sayings). This taught me to stop being so shy (y que dejara la bobada) and ask for help from those I know genuinely care about my family and me. You should try it!
That teacher-parent relationship is vital
Before the pandemic, I’ll admit that I wasn’t too involved with my children’s teachers. I honestly saw no point. They brought in good grades, did their homework, and I never got called into the school. Ah, the good ole days.
But this new reality has shifted everything, and we should’ve expected it.
As much as it pains me to say, the change in routine and school rhythm affected my kid’s academic progress. I was upset at first, but not for long.
It must be terrible to go from brick and mortar schooling where you had physical folders and notebooks for each class to a world where they had to learn how to manage Google Drives for several classes without much training.
I saw them struggling, and I struggled alongside them. I recall crying over their laptops because I couldn’t figure out how to log in to the countless programs they now had to manage.
That’s when I sent an email to all of their teachers. I needed their help.
After all, they were the ones assigning these new things; they would surely know a better way to access them. And, they did. Now we are all on texting terms. This has helped me keep track of my kids and their work in such an amazing way.
I truly recommend you all to reach out to the teachers and don’t forget to thank them by helping them with items for the classroom or even a little gift for them. Side note: Ask the teachers if they use the app ‘Remind.’ This, too, can be a lifesaver and a great way to communicate with your child’s teachers.
Accountability is the best thing ever
Every week, I sit down with my boys and link their assignments to my calendar on my phone. It may sound like a lot, but it’s so worth it.
Now, before getting my morning cafecito, I get a notification reminding me what’s pending for them that week (aside from my own tasks). I know many of you can relate to me when I say that the pandemic jump-started an era of excuses. However, linking your schedules is the best way to rid yourself from hearing any “I never knew I had to do that” wails. You’ll thank me later.
Take it easy on yourself
Amiga, no one prepared us to navigate through pandemic schooling. This was just slammed our way without any warning, and we’ve been doing our best if you ask me. So, take a deep breath when you feel overwhelmed. You know you can get through it.