Remote Teaching….While My Own Children are Remote Learning

by Kellidawn Gilliland

For the past three weeks I have been teaching high school seniors through online educational tools.  Now, I am fortunate to work in a district that has been utilizing technology, so the transition wasn’t too difficult.  But it is different.  This is not the type of teaching I wanted to be doing.  I miss my students faces, and Zoom is helpful, but not the same.  Also, teaching remotely has many twists and turns.  

If you have children at home and you are going through this, pay attention because here is what your district, school, and teachers are doing.  We are reinventing the wheel, well, really trying hard to modify it.  We have NOT been given ANY guidance from  federal or state education agencies.  All we have been told is that we must prove that learning and teaching are happening.  And then once a process/system has been established and those agencies do not approve, we are only told to start over.  So, the changes that you are experiencing are not meant make your life more difficult, districts, schools, and teachers are trying to do what’s best for their students while trying to please education agencies.

While I’m tying to restructure lesson plans for online learning, contact all 175 students and parents, grade, tutor, and meet with my department, PLC, and AP teachers; I have 3 children who are at home doing their school work.  I have a 3rd grader, a 6th grader, and an 8th grader.  Our internet is really being tested to the limit.  

Let me tell you, 3rd grade is tough!  We (I say we, because I’m helping him and learning too) are busy with making charts, doing flip grid videos, reading reading reading, writing essays,and then there is the MATH.  When did they change math?  How did they change math?  It’s a universal language and I don’t understand this 2.0 version.  My son has learned to “carry the one!” 

So while trying to teach my students, monitor my children, and learn 3rd grade math I will say that I am enjoying this special time with my boys. They have really impressed me with their positive attitudes while experiencing so many unknowns. Here are a few activities/stress relievers that have worked for this mom of 3 boys:

  1. Family movie night: my boys are being introduced to the movies of my childhood, and some they love and some not so much.  They also get to pick what they want to watch.  Did you know that there are many Godzilla movies?!
  2. Fresh air and being outside: I have discovered that two things a boy needs are a bike and a dog.  
  3. Personal time:  this could be working out, reading, sleeping, but we all need our own time to do what will make us happy.
  4. Contact with friends:  my boys play video games online with their friends. It’s their way of socializing.  I text, face time, and sometimes Zoom with my friends and family.  It’s good to keep those connections.
  5. Schedule?: Ok, I’m not a Pinterest mom and I don’t have my boys on a schedule.  They wake up when they wake up.  They get school work done and do their chores. They eat and they play and then we repeat the next day.  Do what works for you and your kids. If you need a schedule then use one, if not, do YOU!  This is not the time for judgement.
  6. Find the humor in the situation:  we can’t live in fear and life is too short to take too seriously!  Find the humor in the situation.  The remote learning memes have been hilarious!  

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay home, and support local!

Kellidawn is a true southern girl at heart. When she’s not wrangling her three boys, she can be found broadening the minds of high school seniors in her English class. This former college twirler is also an avid Star Wars fan and movie buff who loves spending time with family and friends.

About the author

Kellidawn is a widowed mother of three boys .  She is also a favorite of her students and is in her 24th year of teaching high school English in a suburb outside Austin, Texas.  Life is never perfect and Kellidawn shares her unique and uplifting perspective on parenting ,working and how to feel good about yourself every day.  Kellidawn holds two Masters degrees from Louisiana Tech and Lamar University.  While at Louisiana Tech she was the feature twirler and crowned Miss Tech which seems a lifetime ago from her most recent role as Little League baseball Coach.
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