Teachers Need Help – 7 Ways Parents Can Do Their Part

Online Learning Is Rough. Parents, We Need to Do More to Help.

A lawyer recently showed up to Zoom court declaring he’s not a cat after accidentally turning a cat filter on and not knowing how to remove it. And yet we’re expecting children to be able to navigate online schooling alone all day, every day. And we expect teachers to keep 30 six-year-olds engaged through a screen in thirty different homes. We all got a good laugh about the cat lawyer, but online learning is a serious struggle for many students and teachers. Parents, we need to step up and help everyone finish the school year as successfully as possible.

Teacher Alexis Stutts is near the breaking point and made a passionate plea to parents via a Facebook video. She shared several things parents can do to help teachers. This is a whole new world for parents, too. Many of us aren’t really sure what our role is now that our kids are doing school through a screen at home, while we’re trying to work from a screen in the next room.

Here are a few tips for making online learning smoother for your kids AND their teachers:

1. Follow a morning routine.

Have your children prepare for online school just like they did when they went to the building. Get your kids up and ready for the day as if they were going into the school building. Give them plenty of time to wake up, wash their faces, brush their teeth, eat breakfast and get dressed. Give them a designated place to sit while they’re logged in for school. 

2. Provide the necessities.

Make sure they have access to food, water, and movement like they’d have at school. Make sure your child has access to food for lunch and is able to stay hydrated. If possible, encourage them to get outside to move in the sunshine and fresh air when the class takes breaks. Also, make sure they have the materials needed for school. This all sounds like a given, but it’s easy to forget the basics in the chaos and weirdness that has been the past year of pandemic life.

3. It’s okay to help your child with online learning.

Help your child as needed. If you see they are struggling with the technology, not understanding the directions, or not paying attention, it’s okay to step in. Teachers can’t know what’s happening in every home, so if you’re able to see your child, help everyone out and intervene as needed.

4. But don’t do everything for them!

Helping when your child needs help doesn’t mean taking over. Don’t do the work for your child or give your child all the answers. They are the students, not you. Also, reframe from speaking up on the microphone or showing yourself on screen. You (hopefully) wouldn’t barge into your child’s physical classroom and interrupt the teacher, so don’t do it online either.

5. Pop in randomly to make sure your child is working.

Stutts say teachers are up all night trying to figure out ways to keep kids interested, engaged, and awake online, but they need parents’ help. Parents can make a big difference just by peeking around the corner at random times to make sure kids are listening to the teacher and not playing a game, watching TikTok or sleeping.

6. Don’t embarrass your child.

And if they are off task? Don’t yell and make a scene. Embarrassing them in front of their teacher and classmates – even if only virtually – won’t help the situation. Aside from upsetting your child, it will make it even more difficult for the teacher to keep the rest of the task on class.

7. Ask the teacher what else you can do to help

Even if we’re home during the day when our kids are doing school, it’s not always possible for us to monitor what they’re doing or help out. Many of us are tied to screens of our own for work or have other family members to care for. Ask the teacher how you can support them and your student after school hours.

Gift cards for coffee are nice and always appreciated, but having the help and support of parents is most teachers’ favorite gift. And it’s downright necessary when it comes to online learning and pandemic teaching.

Come join us in the Empowered Teachers community for more discussions like this.

Also Check Out:

Teachers Need Help - 7 Ways Parents Can Do Their Part

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Rachael Moshman
Rachael Moshman, M.Ed., an editor at Bored Teachers, is a mom, educator, writer, and advocate for self-confidence. She's been a teacher in classrooms of infants through adult college students. She loves pizza, Netflix and yoga. Connect with her at rachael.m@boredteachers.com
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