Parents speak out: working while going back to school


The Defender put the call out for working parents to share their thoughts on school amid COVID.
Here are a few of the responses we received.

C.K. Hill: It’s a constant struggle; damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Kids are struggling due to lack of socialization and it’s showing. Teachers have a big learning curve to tackle given half are not tech-savvy. Our teachers & children were thrust into this haphazard attempt at learning and it’s creating more issues than solutions. Don’t even get me started on the kids who went to class and are terrified of getting sick, have contracted the virus, and who are cared for by vulnerable family members. Something needs to give.

Maria Carlos: It’s hard to tell my daughter who is asking for help and you have to say “wait” or “not right now” while she sees you helping other kids with their issues.

Roni Green: It’s a huge challenge with my youngest. I’m working from home fulltime… and I have to stop in the middle of the day to work with her to complete her assignments and teacher interaction. I don’t finish work until maybe six though I’m scheduled to four. Additionally, I’d like to see the teacher include a lesson plan because watching a video and drawing a picture is inadequate. This is also true with my oldest. If I had a lesson plan to walk her through concepts especially math, it would be helpful. I work in STEM so I understand math but have a hard time explaining it in 13-year-old. Also, the amount of screen time is off the charts.

PW Gray: My workday is extended because of the constant interruptions from my 5th grader. I even hear the teacher say, “go ask your parents!” Lady, I’m working too! It gets better every day, but I’m dawg tired by week’s end.

Kamau Mason: The overall situation has its challenges. But the positives are that we are able to see where our girls’ strengths and weaknesses are while watching them learn and interact. We are able to take note of both academic and social frustration levels and talk as parents on a daily basis about how to deal with the situations on the next day. Our talks have blossomed from the traditional “how was your day” and “what did you work on in class” to “what can we do to solve the issue together tomorrow?” The silver lining has been actually seeing our girls’ growth one day at a time. And I believe it’s making us better at parenting.

Main photo by: Jimmie Aggison