ILP remote schooling / remote working thread for general venting and yelling FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUU!!!!!

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longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 14:59 (three years ago) link

I am logging my work time this week. Since Sunday at 9am, I have done 52 hours, and it’s not not noon Wednesday

rb (soda), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:14 (three years ago) link


Specific Ocean Blue (dog latin), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:15 (three years ago) link

ugh, they've changed some of our working processes and now three different departments are in charge of something that used to be controlled by one person. It's confusing, and now that I've raised it, I've been looped-into a round-robin email with all the senior managers in the bloody country, making me look like I don't know what I'm doing.

Specific Ocean Blue (dog latin), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:17 (three years ago) link

My kids have "flex Wednesday" today -- for my kindergartner this apparently means "do as you feel day" because the teacher literally planned nothing for it.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:30 (three years ago) link

They're on a "hybrid" system that (as of next week) is supposed to be two days in person, two days remote, and this mysterious "flex" day in between.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:31 (three years ago) link

Right now they're all remote but have the "flex" day anyway. Highly unclear why they should be getting 20% less instruction in this already shitty situation.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:31 (three years ago) link

man alive, I promise you the teacher didn’t plan nothing because they just forgot. this workload is untenable, the support is minimal, and the demands from some families are bonkers. last night I held five separate ~ 30 minute meetings with families that hadn’t bothered to read the consolidate intro/essential info packet the school sent out, and literally screenshared with them and read it/explanained it page-by-page. one of them had the gall to tell me “somebody should have let me know this, it’s irresponsible not to give it out,” as they thumbed through their own paper copy.

rb (soda), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:41 (three years ago) link

I want to cut every family ten thousand miles of slack, but a fair number of guardians just aren’t trying to meet teachers halfway.

How do I know that?

They actually tell me, when I ask point blank. Conspiratorially, dismissively “oh, I can’t be bothered to read school emails.” I also talk to the parents who do read the emails (often ELLs) who are verifying that communication steams, while not perfect, are at least sufficient.

rb (soda), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:44 (three years ago) link

I blame the school for an untenable plan more than I blame the teacher. That said, my other daughters teacher planned things. So did my wife, who is a teacher.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 16:19 (three years ago) link

also, fwiw, the communications in my district are very confusing. In addition to keeping track of multiple daily emails from each teacher, the principal, the superintendent, and the BOE, some of these emails will contain several links, one of which will have some important form we absolutely have to fill out (but wouldn't necessarily notice without paying very close attention). I often only become aware of these things through a parent facebook group.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 16:22 (three years ago) link

My condolences to you teachers and parents in this thread. Speaking as an outsider who once worked as a high school para and substitute, this sounds basically impossible to me — awful for teachers, awful for parents, at least at the lower grade levels.

But I'm curious about how goals get set differently, and what teachers feel like they can actually accomplish. I have a hard time imagining what the larger picture looks like. Do you know of any thorough, thoughtful accounts of what distanced learning during the pandemic looks like — a long article or documentary, say? I ask partly because I've thought about returning to secondary education in some capacity, but for obvious reasons this doesn't seem like a great time.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 16:34 (three years ago) link

It hasn't been 100% terrible for my 3rd grader, who is kind of a natural student and really likes structure. However between internet problems on our end and tech issues on the school's end, she has already missed a lot of time. And she too has this "flex day" which is sort of a hodge podge of independent work and ???

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 16:39 (three years ago) link

soda otm

brimstead, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 17:59 (three years ago) link

we have a kindergartener and a 5th grader doing fully remote school. i had assumed the 5th grader would be the difficult one; they spent all last year griping about school and when the last quarter was virtual they didn't do a lot of the work and we had to scramble to catch up at the end of the year. instead, they've been really good about school so far this year, which i think is mostly to the school system realizing they need to ease up on schoolwork and especially homework while the kids are remote. meanwhile, the kindergartener requires constant help and supervision, is constantly crying or whining bc they don't get complete attention from the teacher, and has to be forced to go to the classes and complete the work. they don't like drawing (our older kid is very artistic which i think makes the younger one insecure about their drawing skills) and all the assignments involve drawing things bc most of the kids don't know how to write yet. i'm not really worried about their grades, bc come on it's kindergarten, but i want them to get into having a positive mindset about school. it's mostly frustrating that they don't get to socialize with the other kids at all; i wish they would set up an open room during "recess" where the kids can just talk with each other.

na (NA), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 18:52 (three years ago) link

Since last Saturday night...

82.25 hours of work
157 distinct emails
4 new web pages
5 Powerpoints
3 print-at-home graphic organizers
2 family newsletters
1x 17 page literature packet created and sent home for kids who prefer to read on paper to the computer screen
11 handmade hyperlink enriched schedules for confused families
5 Google classroom setups
19+ hours of Zoom teaching
7 individual parent phone calls
2 parent surveys
4 new lessons
3 complaints from parents fielded by my district, because “I’m not responsive”
Constant gastric issues and headache
$158 on monitor cuz my district can’t provide one
$60 on a new whiteboard for my office
$35 new toner for home printer
Bleeding spot on my arm from where it rubs on the edge of the edge of my desk
2 visits to urgent care for related conditions (swollen bad painful lymph nodes)

rb (soda), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:01 (three years ago) link

NA - that's somewhat similar to my experience with my kindergartner and third grader. My older one took to remote schooling like a fish to water -- she doesn't want to miss a moment of it and is very intense about being a good student and getting her work done. She also very much wants to do it in her room, with the door closed, and no one else present (I guess to feel like she is "in school."). My kindergartner is very half-in/half-out about the whole thing, needs a lot of help, complains a lot about it, blows it off (I know it's funny to think of a five year old "blowing something off" but that's really her attitude about it) etc.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:46 (three years ago) link

The good news, though, is that my district just decided to switch to a 5-day full-day model for K and a five-day half-day model for other elementary grades.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:47 (three years ago) link

I just want to say that both of my kids' schools are running quite smoothly and I recognize this is because of a huge amount of hard prep work and current work by their teachers and administrators and we appreciate it.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:59 (three years ago) link

soda, that sounds absolutely awful and frankly unsustainable. Gotta believe it also makes it impossible to take time to get administration to help with streamlining things. I hope somehow this becomes more doable, without the damage to your health. Good luck.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Saturday, 19 September 2020 03:39 (three years ago) link

ot to change the subject, but man, my son is struggling with school this week. It's hard to watch and harder to help him. It's tough to parse out what is so hard for him, but from the pieces we are pulling from him, it sounds like the performative anxiety of being on Zoom calls all day is wearing on him. All week he's been great through the morning and really happy through lunch time, but by 3:00 his brain is totally wiped and he doesn't really know how to deal with it. It's so hard to help him through something I never had to even imagine when I was in school.

Just venting, really, but this damn virus is breaking us all in so many tiny, unforeseen ways on a near daily basis.

― soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, September 30, 2020 4:26 PM

Hi! JVC! I am teaching school all day, online, every day. Zoom fatigue is SUPER REAL for kids, and performative anxiety is definitely one of the factors that I see affecting my kids. It's not #1, but it's up there. Every kid is different, but here are some of things I see going on:

* It takes kids a ton of conscious effort to maintain attention on Zoom. This consumes so much of already-streched cognitive resources that students're basically maxed and can't fully attend to class as more than just as a sitting body.
* Rapid shifts in modality/platform (chromebook --> phone --> notebook --> chromebook, backchannel Discord server) are brutal, and it means that kids are always "missing" something, and they're aware they're "missing" something, and it's leading to a lot of expressions of inadequacy. (My email is a sad, sad, song).
* Virtual school is academically unfulfilling. Teachers/administrators are so exhausted that they're not able to offer effective feedback/turnaround on student work, which means kids are basically just writing into a void, and there are few opportunities for extrinsic validation.
* Virtual school is socially unfulfilling. Relationships are either pre-existing, or they are bounded in a flat 2x3" box and a couple of text exchanges every so often. A lot of kids are (either) too socially anxious to participate except as students over Zoom (or) they construct social personas that take effort to maintain. It's a lonely time.
* There are a TON of transition times / shifts in social code over Zoom (small group! individual! whole class! moderated! unmoderated! explicit conversation protocols!) and these make adults want to die inside. It's worse for kids.

Once upon a time, before Covid-19, a lot of parents were pretty hands-off w/ their kids' education, because they mostly trusted their schools to take care of things. However, school personnel are ultra-mega-maxed right now, being pressured around curriculum (I worked 270+ hours in September), and can't do the conscientious social-emotional/ teaching, the 1:1 academic coaching, the private check-ins or the around-the-edges differentiation that are usually a huge (and unacknowledged) part of our work. I hope, now that many parents are forced into these roles, they realize exactly how much care, personalization, and intentionality went into what we were giving their kids... and the difficulty of doing it remotely.

rb (soda), Thursday, 1 October 2020 16:40 (three years ago) link


longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 2 October 2020 16:34 (three years ago) link

Our district decided to reopen full time for K and AM/PM split for 3rd grade. This lasted all of two days, and only one for my third grader (she got two hours of in person school) when there was a case reported at the middle school and as a result they decided to shut down elementary, middle, and high school

My kindergartner has completely lost interest in her remote class and my third grader is depressive to the point that we are looking for a therapist.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 2 October 2020 16:36 (three years ago) link

my students came in for one day, two weeks ago, and i won't see them in person again until nearly november.

rb (soda), Saturday, 3 October 2020 02:13 (three years ago) link

man alive, sending good vibes, that sounds incredibly hard

kinder, Saturday, 3 October 2020 12:16 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Seems to be a steady drumbeat of info of this sort coming out -- hopefully the trend continues. It really needs to be the priority to open schools rather than bars, restaurants, etc.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 23 October 2020 14:27 (three years ago) link

first 6 weeks of school have just finished and - hurray! - no outbreaks at our school. Several other cases at local schools, though, so I'm not complacent.

kinder, Friday, 23 October 2020 15:47 (three years ago) link

re that article i don't get why they think it's OK to reopen schools just bc transmission doesn't appear to happen between young kids and adults. sure, it's not increasing transmission numbers but kids are still getting sick. am i missing something?

na (NA), Friday, 23 October 2020 16:03 (three years ago) link

schools being open has to be a high priority. of course it's not risk-free but if cases reflect community levels rather than driving them the idea is spread can be limited by bubbles and other measures. The cases identified at our local schools didn't seem to spread to other pupils/ staff, as far as I know.

kinder, Friday, 23 October 2020 17:08 (three years ago) link

re that article i don't get why they think it's OK to reopen schools just bc transmission doesn't appear to happen between young kids and adults. sure, it's not increasing transmission numbers but kids are still getting sick. am i missing something?

― na (NA), Friday, October 23, 2020 11:03 AM (one hour ago) bookmarkflaglink

1) If it's not increasing transmission vs having them closed, there's not much benefit to having them closed, especially weighed against the harm from having them closed (2) kids getting sick is very low on the list of concerns -- kids are very unlikely to have severe cases or death, with them (unlike with adults) it really is comparable to the flu, perhaps not even as bad

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 23 October 2020 17:15 (three years ago) link

schools being open has to be a high priority. of course it's not risk-free but if cases reflect community levels rather than driving them the idea is spread can be limited by bubbles and other measures. The cases identified at our local schools didn't seem to spread to other pupils/ staff, as far as I know.

― kinder, Friday, October 23, 2020 12:08 PM (six minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

Same -- we had a couple of scares with cases, yet in spite of dozens of supposed exposures each time no one got sick. One at elementary, one at middle.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 23 October 2020 17:16 (three years ago) link

We've made it through six weeks of schools running relatively normally without any significant school-based outbreaks. Not sure that'll hold up now that the curve has turned exponential, but so far so good.

All cars are bad (Euler), Friday, 23 October 2020 17:17 (three years ago) link

i don't think it's certain that kids are unlikely to have severe cases, and we know nothing about long-term impacts on their health

na (NA), Friday, 23 October 2020 17:18 (three years ago) link

It's pretty certain

A minimum of .5% and a maximum of 7% of child cases require hospitalization and child COVID death is virtually nil unless there are multiple other severe risk factors (even then it's low). And "child" includes teenagers and even young adults in some of the states reporting the data, and the severity is far disproportionately among the older "children" i.e. teens and young adults.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 23 October 2020 17:30 (three years ago) link

It's also a bit of an exaggeration to say "we know nothing of the long term health effects." We haven't seen widespread prolonged effects among kids so far. It happens but it's not common. Of course, it may turn out that there are unseen long term health effects 15 years down the road. But what do we do about that, close schools for 15 years?

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 23 October 2020 17:31 (three years ago) link

i don't think it'll take 15 years to develop a vaccine.
i am not a medical expert. but i see lots of scary stories about how people feel after they have "recovered" from covid and the potential long-term health impacts and i don't want to put my kids through that, even if i do wish they were at real school. just one dude's opinion.

na (NA), Friday, 23 October 2020 18:11 (three years ago) link

heard my kindergartener listening to an educational song for school in the other room, thought "that sounds familiar" ... it uses the instrumental track for "lemonade" by gucci mane:

na (NA), Monday, 26 October 2020 16:32 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

a few months in now and I've got some strong feelings about this guy:

joygoat, Saturday, 16 January 2021 16:44 (two years ago) link

So uh, yeah. It’s obviously been a struggle for the past ten months, but it’s about to get infinitely more difficult for me, for a while, and I’m sort of freaking the fuck out about it. I know it can be done, but I’m so anxious and overwhelmed that I can’t even start to process how to prep myself.

Long story short, my wife is heading out of state to spend a month to take care of her mother during a surgery and recovery period. Obviously, yes, challenging during COVID and bad timing, all that, but that’s besides the point for now.

Up to now we’ve been tag teaming my 9 year old son’s remote learning. We swing in and out and, thankfully, my wife is a consultant with very flexible work hours. But while she’s gone, it’s falling on me entirely and my work is not flexible at all. It’s very 9-5, tons of meetings, lots of calls, not much at all that can be easily pushed to “off hours”. I’m going to let my boss know what’s happening and I’m hoping he will be somewhat understanding, but this still feels like such a terrifying thing. I’m worried about not giving him enough time, I’m worried about falling behind at work, I’m worried about us both being patient with each other, etc etc.

A week of this would be no problem, two weeks, totally doable. But a month makes this feel so overwhelming.

Obviously I know single parents manage this all the time and often with more kids, don’t get me wrong, but my work is set up to be so inflexible that we’ve often commented in the past how fortunate we were for her to work flexible hours because I couldn’t keep up with my job too.

Any advice?

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 27 January 2021 00:22 (two years ago) link

Argh, that sounds like a really tough situation. With my parent head on, I'd say it's about being realistic about what you can achieve - and recognising that it's your relationship with your boy that's the priority. You could sit down and formulate a plan with him - let him know you're going to work through this together and that you need him on your side etc. Could you visualise it somehow - put up a timetable for him etc? You could break it down into the four weeks so you'll at least have a sense of it being a little more manageable. All the while, being fully cognisant that it'll probably be a shitshow at times, you're bound to fall out and that's absolutely fine. I imagine you'll be concerned about what he's doing when he's *not* engaging with the remote learning? Again, you could have a chat about what's acceptable in terms of screen time etc. Have some firm-ish boundaries about what is and isn't acceptable during school hours. Basically, be kind to each other.

With my teacher head on, I would totally email his teacher(s) and explain the situation - be completely honest about it. They'll be on your side and might be able to send out work that'll help things along or suggest a couple of project-based things he could do. There's nothing stopping you opening that line of dialogue now - give them the heads up. Do you have any particular areas of concern with his learning? You could absolutely prioritise these and have a couple of small areas of focus. I'd be surprised, but if for whatever reason you don't hear back from them, well, it sounds like you're doing an amazing job with his remote learning anyway and whatever bullshit you might read I can absolutely assure you teachers are hating this too, totally winging it and well, a month isn't going to matter!

I hope that doesn't sound schoolmistressy! This remote learning stuff is a big load of old bollocks and we all have to make sure we keep some perspective about it. ALl the best to you and your family.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Wednesday, 27 January 2021 09:25 (two years ago) link

those are good tips. i agree re: emailing the teachers. i would sell this to your kid as their chance to show extra responsibility (and maybe dangle some reward if they do a good job of keeping on top of things themselves) rather than as an obstacle or a crisis. but internally you should prepare yourself for some school things possibly slipping through the cracks and going easy on yourself about that.

na (NA), Wednesday, 27 January 2021 13:53 (two years ago) link

Thanks Chianski, that is really helpful. I definitely think I will email his teacher, that makes a lot of sense. His teacher already does a great job of providing them weekly to-do lists and schedules that keep him pretty focused and self-directed, it's when he hits a speed bump of something he doesn't immediately grasp that he loses focus and needs more attention. He's smart, but gets easily frustrated at things that don't come naturally to him.

Yeah, the several hours between the end of his school day and the end of my work day are a big concern. That seems to be fairly reliably the hours when my work gets more crazy and I'm hesitant to open up the door for just more screen time, but it's not like the February weather is going to be cooperative in terms of getting him outside more.

The other thing that makes this so daunting is that so many of the things I'd normally do to keep us occupied and entertained are off the table right now. I mean, if my wife was gone for a month in a non-pandemic time I'd probably pick a long weekend to go hang out at his other grandma's house. Or pick a weekend in the middle for a short road trip somewhere fun, or set up a ton of playdates. Oh, hell, take some time off on my end and we'd go join my wife towards the end of the recovery period. But right now it almost feels like a lockdown on-top of a lockdown.

I mean, so far (granted my wife hasn't even left yet) he's totally stoked about the idea and really excited about getting "lots of dad time", but I'm sure we'll hit some bumps once it becomes a reality. I like the idea of an reward, na.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 27 January 2021 14:56 (two years ago) link

Just when we get into a solid, though not perfect, groove and I’ve started to be able to juggle my work schedule around a little bit to accommodate some more time with him... they go and completely change up his school schedule starting next week. Hard not to feel like one step forward, three steps back at this point.

One of the hardest bits has been when I’m helping him with homework and he gets frustrated because I’m not tracking his line of thinking or he’s not tracking mine. Miss having that third party to kind of keep us both in check and not talking past each other.

It’s not like I didn’t hold respect for single parents before, but this brought me to a whole new level of respect. Working full time and trying to keep a child learning remotely alone is hard. I have no idea how single parents with multiple kids do it.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 06:24 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Yesterday, my daughter's school partially re-opened with a hybrid option. This means some kids attend in person for part of the week and some kids remain fully virtual (we picked fully virtual). After classes let out today, we got a call from the school that a student who showed up yesterday had tested positive for covid and a bunch of people have to quarantine. So that sucks.

On the other hand, last week my high-schooler returned to his welding class at the vocational school and that's been going well. In a couple weeks, he'll return to regular high school on a hybrid schedule as well. My daughter enjoys the total virtual instruction, but it's been driving him nuts.

peace, man, Tuesday, 2 March 2021 20:58 (two years ago) link

That's bad timing re the covid case at school - hope it looks up from there.
Am quietly and cautiously celebrating tonight being - for now anyway - the last night I have to print out worksheets and prepare another day of 'home learning' which inevitably ends up in tears at some point. Cases are low enough where I am that I'm not too worried about any imminent Covid risk. I'll be on edge at least until we get vaccinated but god, school is very much needed for my kid.

kinder, Wednesday, 3 March 2021 23:02 (two years ago) link


J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 4 March 2021 00:55 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

Hey, I'm late to the party as usual, but just got a positive test. I'm not asymptomatic but it's a pretty lowkey cold (so far).

What was your approaches to distancing at home when you had it and the kids didn't? We have a small flat so I don't see many options outside of "fuck it and carry on as normal"

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 14 March 2022 17:54 (one year ago) link

Isolating from each other just isn’t an option in our flat, so we crossed our fingers and hoped the vaccines would protect us. First time around, Stet and our son got it but not me. Second time around, only our son got it.

Madchen, Monday, 14 March 2022 18:28 (one year ago) link

I've had my first ever positive test, symptoms like a bad head cold but not as bad as the one I had the other month, I've slept a lot but am able to get up and move around and function fairly normally. No chance of self isolating, I'm still doing our 6 year old's bedtime and sleeping in her room. Luckily she's no longer completely averse to testing.

ledge, Monday, 14 March 2022 19:31 (one year ago) link

And now said 6 year old has it. Maybe I should have slept in a different room, maybe she'd have got it anyway.

ledge, Thursday, 17 March 2022 09:00 (one year ago) link

One of my friend's kids had aymptomatic Covid last month, and her two brothers got jealous and asked her to breathe on them so they could catch it too. But it didn't work! So I'm not sure distance is the only variable here.

We've been distancing (as much as possible with an excited two-year-old, i.e. not as much as would be helpful) and keeping the windows open, and they're okay so far, but I'm guessing it won't last long.

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 17 March 2022 14:17 (one year ago) link

My partner is doing her school job from home, and looking after our daughter, while I isolate and work in the bedroom. Feeling super guilty right now and missing hugs, which is weighing on my worse than the actual covid (which is bad but not terrible)

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 17 March 2022 14:19 (one year ago) link

nine months pass...

Lord what a nightmare this was.

The morally corrupt Faye Resnick (sunny successor), Thursday, 12 January 2023 20:11 (ten months ago) link

it was. I had to think really hard about how many school closures we actually had. I forgot the one where kids went back to school for one day after Christmas then Boris did a 180 and decided to close them, after everyone had mixed for a day, the clown. That was long.

Apparently we have teacher strikes to look forward to - which I support, and will only be the odd few days.

kinder, Monday, 16 January 2023 23:49 (ten months ago) link

one month passes...

My kids grades tanked so badly during this time and are only just recovering now. A students to F and D students. my son was in 4th grade when everything shut down and now he still writes (prints) like a fourth grader. Thinking about getting him one of those old school printing books.

But who are we doing it versus? (sunny successor), Tuesday, 21 February 2023 22:19 (nine months ago) link

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