Updated: May 28, 2021
Kindergarten Teacher / All Subject Areas
This summer, I was very anxious as I prepared for the upcoming virtual school year. I usually spend my summer traveling with my family. However, this summer was filled with “virtual
learning” professional development. I am also a parent of an incoming 6th grader and a 1 st grader. I spent the majority of my summer creating learning/teaching spaces for us. Instead of relaxing and rejuvenating, I was stressing and remodeling.
I know deep down in my heart that virtual learning is not developmentally appropriate for kindergarteners, but due to regulations put in place, virtual learning is the new norm. I have been constantly engaging in professional development in order to find digital tools and resources available that would allow me to create an engaging online learning experience for my students.
Another challenge that I face is making sure that all of my students have access to the technology needed to engage in virtual classes. Some students do not even have a device and/or Wi-Fi. Another major challenge that I am currently facing is trying to find time to be a parent during this pandemic. I spend almost 6.5 + hours teaching/planning online during the day. I find it very difficult balancing teaching and parenting. Yes, I am an educator, but I am a parent first!!
I have had to find creative ways to make
sure that my boys get the support that they need.
[A misconception I often run into are] people think[ing] educators are being lazy because we are not teaching in a physical school building. Teaching virtually is more exhausting than in-person teaching. The planning that is required to plan digital lessons and live class sessions is mentally draining. The school system has provided multiple professional developments to support educators with navigating virtual teaching. I have been blessed with a wonderful group of colleagues.We divvy up planning responsibilities in order to lighten the mental load.
My husband is my #1 supporter. He has been flexible with his work schedule and workload. He understands that I cannot always be physically available to assist our sons with virtual learning. His presence makes virtual teaching/learning more manageable. Creating and displaying daily
schedules also helps with time management. Oh….I can’t forget the 20+ alarms set in my phone.
These alarms remind me when my sons need to log on for their many sessions throughout the day.
My kindergarteners mostly develop relationships and routines in the first few months of school. Once these have been established, I really see the students learning and growing. I hope that the virtual relationships and routines that I am currently establishing smoothly transitions my students to a full- day in-person school day. My hope is that my students are on the same learning track that my previous students were on during previous school years.
I eventually want to get back to teaching in my classroom. Despite this pandemic, my goal is to continue to instill a love of learning and develop
creativity in the hearts and minds of my students!!!!