These are responses to our callout for sharing experiences with virtual learning at home, from parents, students and teachers.
“Awful. My 10th grader has been in tears 2 out of the 5 days they have had school. Power outages, internet issues, and Google Meets dropping all while the teacher continues to ‘teach’ to a screen. My senior is sad to be missing all of the milestones she worked so hard for. Up until 2 a.m. trying to complete homework and self-teach topics she doesn’t understand due to minimal availability of teachers. My 8th grader is also feeling stress and doesn’t understand why he is spending all this screen time when he used to get in trouble for being on his electronics. I’m a healthcare provider and understand the risks, however I chose in-person education and my choice was not honored. About 80% of RCS chose in-person instruction and at the last moment we were told it wasn’t possible. Our district gives canned responses with no benchmarks or data. Parents are very invested in the education of their children and are willing to assist to get the kids back in the classroom. Our Superintendent of the Year is not being forthcoming and is basing his responses on emotions and not sharing facts. This remote learning has led to many pulling their kids from the district and putting them in private schools. Our district is making SAC available and paid preschool. How do you justify this? People are paying for private tutors and teachers -- this is furthering the divide between the haves and have nots.”
“Online schooling at the elementary age is a complete nightmare. My 2nd grader hates it and lasts maybe 15-20mins at a time. Both parents work outside the home. We have now had to cut our hours (and pay) to somehow navigate this! I don’t see how the kids are supposed to actually concentrate and listen to their parents. Bring these kids back to school. The district has options but chose this completely disregarding the parents' survey they sent out. Our family is now looking into private schools to transfer to.”
“My son’s teachers at Holmes Middle school in Livonia have been fantastic! They have engaged the students. One teacher in 1st hour even saw the kids yawning and stretching so he had them do some jumping jacks to get the blood flowing. I was impressed that ALL of the students did them and were smiling and laughing! So far I am impressed with how the teachers are doing!”
“I have been a part of assisting my 12-year-old nephew with online school, while working from home at the same time. To hear the teacher threaten to remove him from the class because she can hear voices in the background is very upsetting. These children are not living alone. Life is still going on in their homes. While we try to control the activity around him, while still being able to monitor and assist him as he navigates through a system which still has many kinks, it is not easy. Many of the teachers take their frustrations out on the students, rather than admitting the fact that their connection may be poor, they don’t know how to do things properly, the children have not been trained, and the various other intangibles that are occurring.”
“This is my daughter’s first year in school and this is not how any of us imagined it. She is a kindergartner and we decided virtual would work better because it was supposed to be self-paced and user friendly. The program our school district is using is NOT at all user friendly. I’m a single mom of two kids and I work from home currently and I was still having to sit next to my child and read every single thing to her. She was placed in a keyboarding class, and some of the work was typing sentences, doing a journal, and so on. She can’t read or spell, how can she do this? I made the choice this week to pull my child out of our school district because as a parent we advocate for our children. Many others have also pulled children out. In our district it’s the elementary students that are suffering the most. The middle school and high school students can fully operate the program used, but our elementary students are overwhelmed and sad, as are the parents. I feel like the district is failing my child, and I didn’t want to feel like that anymore. We have started an online program so I can teach her until these kids can go back safely. I took a stand for my child and I feel 100 times better.”
Virtual learning is now well underway in many Michigan school districts.
We want to hear from parents and students about their experiences with this unprecedented situation. We’ve also received many comments from teachers who are double-timing as parents at home.
Please tell us how it’s going: