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What Happened To Parents & Teachers During COVID?

Christina Fitzgerald, Director of Curriculum and Instruction for a school district in California, explains what she's witnessed throughout the fallout of COVID-19 - an erosion of grace between parents and educators.


What Happened To Parents & Teachers During COVID?

"Be really, I'm just gonna be real. And then you can figure out what you wanna do with it. That's all I can say. Um, the challenge of the relationships with parents and teachers after this pandemic has is more than challenging. Going into the pandemic, parents thought, it's only gonna be a few months, I can handle this. And, and trying to teach their children at home was so challenging. And they were like, oh my gosh, I you teachers, like, not only, not only did you just have to learn all of this technology, but then you've gotta teach like 30 kids on Zoom and you've got your own children at home and oh my goodness. And I had no idea it was this hard to keep my child on task for three hours at a time. And, and that was the initial reaction. But as time wore on, everybody got tired.

And I will say that you had some teachers that were trying to deal with their own personal issues and they just kind of shut the door. And as a result, when they isolated themselves, parents thought, well, you lazy person, and I'm paying all of this tax money and what are you doing for my child? My child's falling further and further behind. My second grader doesn't know how to read and, and I don't know how to do this. I don't even know what phonics are. Like that's not, you know, phonics isn't a natural parenting instinct. And so it, it kind of created, it created a divide.

Um, and I know, you know, a lot of parents said, coming back from the pandemic, the vast majority of parents were like, absolutely, I'm gonna be more involved in school. I'm gonna be involved. I'm gonna be working on their homework, I'm gonna be communicating with the teacher. I'm gonna do all of these things. But when we actually opened our doors, it was crickets. And it was from a parent standpoint as well, not just as an educator, it was, you're out the door to school. Okay, I can regroup for a minute. And so the first year back from the pandemic, it was all contact tracing and just, just trying to keep the lid on the school and the health and welfare of the kids.

Then coming back in the second year, now, now you've had my kid for a year and you were virtual for a year. Now my kid's two and a half years behind. And how is my kid gonna get to a major four year university and you haven't done your job? And then a teacher's like, wait a second. Like, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Like we had all of these things going and you know, I had to learn all the technology during the pandemic and then we came back in person and I was spending more time making sure that everybody was away from each other and keeping, you know, keeping food, separating and notifying my administrator of when I got the call that somebody had covid I had to track down all the kids in class that had the exposures and then we had to call all those parents.

And, um, I think we've lost giving grace for each other. Um, and it's continuing. It's the, the animosity is continuing, it's escalating, it's not stopping in spite of our children. And that's concerning because our kids need to see us model how to be, how to adult and how to actively problem solve in a kind, humane way for the love of our community and our school and all of it. That's all I have to say on that."

-Christina Fitzgerald


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